PERSHORE Phoenix dragon boat team tackled an action-packed first race of the Henley Winter Series.

They began in seventh place in the staggered start but collided with an island after catching many of their rivals.

The crew then took evasive action on the River Thames with difficult winds and current hampering them while reversing out.

As the boat stopped, a rival collided with them but no one was hurt apart from some pride.

The other boat recovered first and raced on with 4.5 kilometres still to go.

Pershore fought hard and put in a good team display, overtaking three other boats in the chase.

The final turn was well done and the last 500-metre dash for the line saw Phoenix get over the finish line at speed.

After the race, the Pershore team had a time penalty added for obstruction after completing the distance in 37 minutes 46 seconds.

The next race day is on December 10.

Phoenix meet on Sundays at 9.30am at Arden Sailing Club, Defford.

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