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A raft of colour as Lewes to Newhaven river race makes a welcome return
A yellow submarine raced a Grease-themed vessel yesterday as a much-loved event returned to Sussex waters.
After a year’s absence, competitors again raised thousands for charity in the 37th raft race along the Ouse.
In front of a crowd of hundreds, nine teams lined up at the starting line at Lewes Rowing Club for the Lewes and District Round Table’s event.
Hot on the heels of the Mumford and Sons concert from the night before, the chosen theme for this year’s race was music.
Rowers and boats alike were kitted out to look like the Beatles’ yellow submarine and 70s glam rock stars.
Grease lightning themed team Firle Bonfire Society took first place, crossing the finish line at Newhaven in just under two hours.
Matt Craig, raft race co-ordinator, said: “There was a great turn out of spectators cheering on from the banks.
“I think it was disappointing last year as we missed a year due to difficulties obtaining a safety boat but considering that, the number of entrants, the turn out plus the great weather, it was very successful.
“This is my first year organising the event and it makes you realise what an awful lot goes on behind the scenes.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to Lewes rowing club for all their help and support in organising the event and marshalling – they have been extremely helpful.
“I’d also like to say a big thank you to Sea Training Sussex who has also been an incredibly big help.”
Each team raised around £500 in sponsorship money for their chosen charities.
Proceeds from ticket sales and bucket collections on the banks from the day will go towards a charity chosen by Lewes and District Round Table to be decided later this month.
Mr Craig added: “It is great that we can give something back to charity.“ It was a great day for everyone involved and I hope we can get even more people involved in the race again next year.”
Anyone interested in entering next year’s Lewes to Newhaven Raft Race should email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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