A PAIR of county rafters are packing their bags this week and travelling to Thailand for the Dragon Boat World Championships.

James Robertson, from Hereford and Anthony Wigmore, from Glewstone are both part of the Great Britain boat for the competition.

They will compete against 30 other nations from six continents over 200 metres, 500 metres, one kilometre and two kilometres distances.

Drag boats sees crews of 20 paddlers competing with 10 on each side of the boat with a drummer at the front and helm member steering at the back.

Both Robertson and Wigmore compete in opposing rafting teams in the county accumulating over 30 years of paddling between them.

With Robertson part of the Drive On Raft Team, based in Breinton, and Wigmore most recently for Patrick’s Gulpers, based near Leominster

Initially the pair were encouraged to join the Rafters dragon boat team before hearing about the trials for the GB squad.

The pair completed several tests in the trials at Liverpool before being selected for the team.

The championships will take place between August 20 and 25 on the Mabprachan Reservoir in Pattaya, Thailand.

It is the first time that the World Championships will take place in Thailand.

"It's the first international competition for both of us," said Robertson.

"It's a massive event and there are 4,000 people there taking part.

"I don't think we will do particularly well in the shorter races like the 200 metres but in the longer events we are quietly confident.

"The Canadians are very good as are the Australians and Germans.

"We will wait and see but a top 10 finish would be good."

Not only is it Robertson's first international competition but also his first visit to Thailand.

"It's going to be a bit of a culture shock," he added.

"I've never been to Thailand, it's not somewhere I've ever wanted to go and experience."

More information and live streaming for the event can be found at https://dragonboat2019.rcat.or.th/live-streaming/