FEATURING scores of exquisitely decorated dragon-headed vessels churning through the waters of Leith, this year's Leith Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge promises to be great fun for competitors and spectators alike.

And looking to add a unique East Lothian flavour to the festivities is a Prestonpans maths teacher who is hoping to raise a hardy county crew to join in the fun.

Eddie White, 34, of Atholl View, has decided to put together a team to take part in the new event, which takes place at Leith's Western Harbour, near Ocean Terminal, on September 3.

The event will see teams of 16 competitors racing giant dragon boats - large, canoe-like vessels propelled by teams of oarsmen.

Each team must stump up £500 to take part in the charity race and Eddie, who will take up a teaching post at Tranent's Ross High School next month following six years' teaching at Edinburgh's Holy Rood High School, is hoping to find like-minded East Lothian fun-lovers to join his team.

"I thought the race was something a bit different and it looks like fun," Eddie told the Courier. "I've done quite a few 10k runs and half-marathons though I'm definitely not a super-fit guy, and I fancied something different.

"I'm not looking for the fastest people to take part, I'm looking for normal people because I think this race could be quite fun. I'm not expecting to win and I don't really want to win. I just hope I fall in at some point because you can't race at Leith Docks and say you haven't fallen in!

"I'm looking for a team of primarily East Lothian people. I'd like another 19 [four reserves have to take part as well as the 16 crew] prepared to pay for the entry fee to join my team for the event." Eddie is hoping for an enthusiastic response to his team invitation - and if all else fails he is confident he can fill out the final spots by persuading some of his new colleagues at Ross High they're "cowards" if they don't take part!

Once signed up, each team member is expected to raise £75. A third of all money raised by each team will go to organisers Leith Rotary, with the remainder going to each team's chosen charity. Eddie is planning to raise money for an East Lothian-based charity.

Those interested in signing up to join Eddie's team can contact him at eddie@eddiewhite.com For more information on the race, visit www.leithdragonboats.com Once Eddie has put a team together, he will set up a web page for donations.