Great Waterside Raft Race Article in the Waterside Herald 15th September 2021
After an uncertain weather forecast, a pleasant summers’ day brought spectators out in their numbers for the 33rd RNLI Great Waterside Raft Race on Sunday 22nd August. The whole side of the marina was filled with spectators, with others watching from Prospect Place and the Pier.
There were 11 rafts with well over 50 crew, competing for trophies and medals. The inners of the first race, Best Decorated, as well as the Most Ingenious Raft was “Fish and Ships”, which did very well, considering it was made from cardboard! Next was The Formula 1 Race, which was won by Ebenezers Pub in Hythe, where they also won the Pub Race. Next came the Ladies’ Race, which was won by “The Sarah Bee” (The Eastleigh Boxing Club). Best Presented Raft was the “RNLI Wifeboat” – a well-deserved win for the wives and girlfriends of the RNLI Calshot Crew, who also came second in the Handicap Race. The Junior Raft Race was won by “Drowned Rat”, which was manned by Hythe Sea Scouts. Lastly, the Handicap Race was also won by “The Sarah Bee”, which won the Parnell Cup for Best Overall Effort.
RNLI Press Officer, Dan Poole, said,
“Given the past 18 months or so, we were absolutely delighted with the turnout. We were not sure how it would compare to previous years, but it has gone very well. There was a great atmosphere and I think people were just glad to get out again and enjoy themselves. Each year, our small team of volunteers work tirelessly to ensure the event goes to plan, so I am pleased it has paid off.”
Also at the raft race was a Cole’s Fairground, BBQ and refreshments, Souvenirs, our Main Sponsor, TMT Legal Services had a stall and RNLI Mascot Stormy Stan. Before the presentation of the trophies and medals by TV presenter and historian, Dan Snow, the raffle was drawn, where several excellent prizes were won. Proceedings were once again superbly covered by John McGuinn. The water safety of the Rafters being provided by Sue Kilford and her friends, plus Ryan for providing the safety boats. Many thanks to them both
Since it began in the 1980s, the race is organised by RNLI Hythe and Calshot Fundraising Branch. This year it has raised just over £5,500 so far, before any further sponsorship is received from the raft teams. The Branch would like to take this opportunity to thank sponsors, volunteers, and competitors for all their hard work and kind support, not forgetting the many spectators for their continued generosity.
Please see the Entry Form page for next years entry form