Friday, 17 September 2021

Crews get wet and wild at annual village fun regatta

DOZENS of competitors, and more spectators, ended up with soggy clothes at a wet Hurley Regatta

DOZENS of competitors, and more spectators, ended up with soggy clothes at a wet Hurley Regatta on Saturday.

The 44th annual event saw races along a stretch of the River Thames, with contests in dongolas, dinghies and the popular raft race.

Teams built rafts from wooden planks and plastic barrels before taking to the water, though several competitors ended up in the river after their creations fell apart.

One team even swam the entire course with their raft in tow after failing to stay aboard at the start.

The event was won by Moobers and Shakers, who beat Hurley Hayseeds, winners in the last two years.



Other inventive team names included We Are Having A Gi-Raft, HMS Boaty McBoatFace and In the Pub by Noon, which was actually crewed by a team of 14-year-olds.

The regatta was hit by rain showers and high winds during parts of the afternoon but that failed to dampen spirits as there were more than 40 races throughout the day. The dragon boat final saw two crews of about 16 people race the course, each with a “cox” banging a drum to set the rhythm of the rowers.

 It was won by Dew Drop Pirates against Draggy McDragface, with the victors then showing off their skills with a victory lap of the course.

The Draggy McDragface crew included sports presenter Steve Rider, who lives in Maidenhead.

In the paddleboarding, one competitor nearly tumbled in the the river as he struggled to keep his footing, while the little and large cobra race went one better as a member of the leading crew plunged in to the water as he attempted to switch places with his teammate.

There was also a bathtub race where several competitors ended up in the river and a tug of war where two rafts were joined by a rope and had to row away from each other. This was won by Aylesbury Ducks for the second year in a row.

In the “damsel in distress” contest, canoeists had to collect a “damsel” from a boat and take her to the finish without dropping her in the water.

There were also more serious races including punting, canoeing and the men’s single sculls.

Between two races in the afternoon, there was a “row past” from two boats, with one crew representing “the North” as they dressed in tartan and ginger wigs.

On dry land, entertainment included a land-based tug of war, egg throwing and dog racing. A miniature train took children on a loop of the site, while there were also fairground rides provided by Pelham’s Funfair.

Irish folk singer Steve Carroll performed in the evening and children’s performer Smartie Artie entertained youngsters, while there was also food and drink available all day for visitors.

This year’s regatta was raising money for Braywick Employment Skills Training, which is based at Braywick Heath Nurseries in Maidenhead and had a stall at the event, while prizes were presented by Windsor and Maidenhead mayor Sayonara Luxton.

Regatta chairman Martin Fry said: “It was a very good regatta. We had concerns about the weather but in the end we didn’t get that much rain, just strong winds.

“All the feedback we’ve had has been good. Entries were down a little bit on last year as people were put off by the forecast but everyone who did come along had fun.

“The bath race is always the event I love the most. The challenge is to get to the finish without sinking and quite a few sank this year, which is always a good laugh!”

He added: “People look forward to it. People have started coming from a considerable distance to see the regatta and we also have a lot of regulars.”

Next year’s regatta will be held on Saturday, August 19.



....All the winners



Novice single scull: R Graves

Gents’ single scull (Peter Freebody Cup): T Love

Coxed single scull (C Scott-Hopkins Cup): M Burfitt and H Burfitt

Ladies’ and gents’ canoe (Floate Cup): L Vincent and M Burfitt

Damsel in Distress: M Burfitt and C Burfitt

Open novelty canoe: Brewer and Pearson

Open double canoe: Burness and Burness

Residents’ double canoe: H Herrick and M Foley

Newcomers’ double canoe: Ligeza and Street

Open coxed dinghy: P Burfitt and I Burfitt

Little and large tandem dinghy (Geoffrey Webber Trophy): McClennan and McClennan

Newcomers’ tandem dinghy: Stephenson and Stephenson

Paddleboarding: G Fairbrother

Open cobra kayak: G Fairbrother

Little and large cobra kayak: Shanley and Shanley

Intermediate single dinghy (Nolder Cup): S Beverley

Intermediate double cobra: Smithson and E Burfitt

Single punting (Ed Emery Cup): Ed Emery

Residents’ dongola: In Deep Ship

Thames dongola (LA Burfitt Cup): Hurley Hayseeds     

Tug of war (on water) (Tug of War Cup): Aylesbury Ducks

Bath race (Bath Stand): Bees

Raft race (ICIPP Shield): Moobers and Shakers

Dragon boat race (Henley Dragon Trophy): Dew Drop Pirates

Scratch double Canadian canoe: Fairbrother and Bosley

Scratch coxed dinghy: Graves and Graves

Scratch dongola: Ness Berry         

Tug of war (on land) (Hurley Farm Shield): Rising Sun

Egg throwing: Charlie and Colin/Maria and Ramel

Dog racing (on lead): Usaine Bolt and Dawn Thomas

Dog racing (off lead): Buzz and James Burfitt



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