FANCY dressing up in a ridiculous costume and taking to the waters of the River Ouse to paddle a dragon boat like mad against several hundred like-minded competitors? Then you'd better get a move on.

Entries for this year's revived York Dragon Boat Challenge, organised by the Rotary Club of York, close on Monday. Get that application in quick...

For 18 years now the challenge has been one of the highlights of the year - a day when the River Ouse takes centre stage for a wonderful festival of silliness and fun.

Since the first race in 2003, the Rotary Club of York has raised an astonishing £1.2 million through the challenge for local good causes.

Last year's event had to be cancelled because of Covid - but even so, a virtual event raised £20,000, said rotary club spokesman Mike Fieldsend. Usually, the races raise far more.

It will be back with a bang this year. The rotary club celebrated it's 100 birthday in February. And it is in the mood to celebrate.

This year's event has been delayed: inevitably, because of Covid. It will be held on September 12, rather than the usual July. "But we're going all out!" Mike said.

As usual, the plan is for there to be 36 teams, each of 16-20 people.

That's a lot of people taking to the water in fancy dress.

"We're hoping for a really colourful event this year!" Mike said. "There will be 400 or so participants in fancy dress paddling dragon boats down the river - what's not to like?"

The best spot from which to watch will be the north side of the river bank at Museum Gardens, Mike says.

But first, those entries need to be finalised.

So if you plan to enter a team, get cracking.

Visit to find out all you need to know about the event - and submit your application.