Watch the action at Shoreham charity raft race

Sussex Yacht Club's first charity raft race created a colourful spectacle on the River Adur, watched by hundreds of people.

Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 2:31 pm
Brand Wagon's impressive coach and horses, a worthy winner of the Wooden Spoon award. Picture: Derek Martin DM1986692a

A total of 12 homemade rafts were paddled furiously from the yacht club, in Brighton Road, towards the Norfolk Bridge and around a marker, before battling the tide back to the finish line.

Commodore Terry Kinch said: "This was our first ever raft race and it won’t be our last. It was quite a spectacle and we were delighted that this exciting charity event was enjoyed and so well supported by the local community.

"The footbridge was absolutely packed and was a brilliant vantage point to watch the fun as it unfolded. We also had a lot of people enjoying our Rum and Pie Shack on Coronation Green, which was extremely popular.

Brand Wagon's impressive coach and horses, a worthy winner of the Wooden Spoon award. Picture: Derek Martin DM1986692a

"A special mention should also go to our own club member, Bob Taylor, who created our fabulous new raft race trophy."

Many of the teams were in fancy dress, including crowns and pink wigs, and the race on Saturday was highly competitive, with the winner being a two-man raft from The Marlipins.

Brand Wagon was the worthy winner of the Wooden Spoon award, having produced an extraordinarily impressive coach and horses. Unfortunately, the size of this raft meant it could not make the turn, so it had to be towed home.

The event was raising money for Sussex Sailability's Door to Shore campaign. The total is still being counted but the club has confirmed the money will be used to create a fully-accessible centre of sailing excellence at its new building in the heart of Shoreham.

Building work is already underway and £225,000 needs to be raised by the end of the year to allow the construction of an essential access ramp.

Mr Kinch added: "We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who took part and all our sponsors who kindly donated raffle prizes and supported us in so many other ways. We’d particularly like to thank Brand Wagon for helping us with design and advertising and Shoreham Port Authority for their sponsorship and guidance. W Stirland and Mackleys, who are working on our rebuild project here at the club, both provided us with sponsorship and raffle prizes.

"Enquiries for next year’s race are coming in thick and fast and this year’s entrants have promised to come back with even more creative rafts."

For further information about the 2020 Charity Raft Race or the Door to Shore campaign, contact Sussex Yacht Club on 01273 464868 or email [email protected]