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Arundel Bath Tub organiser 'ousted' as festival takes charge of running
A famous bath tub race is facing rocky waters after its creator claims he has been sidelined after 12 successful years.
Nearly a quarter of participants in the Incredible Arundel Festival Bath Tub Race have pulled out after the plug was pulled on organiser Martin Harvey’s involvement.
Arundel Festival, which hosts the event, has now taken charge of the race, on August 24.
But for more than a decade, Mr Harvey has raised money for the Chestnut Tree House as part of the event.
But this year’s race is being organised by the festival team, and nearly a quarter of those who took part last year are boycotting the event after news filtered through that Mr Harvey had been ousted as organiser.
He said: “This new event has been organised behind my back and despite the team behind it having no experience of the noble art of bath tub racing, my offers of support have been ignored.
“Suggestions being made that I have stepped down or no longer wish to be involved with the event are wholly untrue.
“Besides anything else, the level of discourtesy shown is quite incredible.”
The former organiser has received dozens of supportive messages, and the number of people pulling out of the event may rise.
‘Disappointing’ Mr Harvey added: “It’s always been a family thing, my parents take care of the administration on the day, so for it to happen to this sort of event makes it all the more disappointing.
“It’s not a profitable event – I’ve never personally made a penny from it.”
Mr Harvey hopes to meet with the festival’s committee next week to re-establish a working relationship with them, but will take no part in the 2013 event.
The event raised £2,500 last year for Chestnut Tree House as 33 teams entered the race.
Ash Kent, co-chairman of Arundel Festival, said: “Martin Harvey has been contacted and we are awaiting a mutually convenient date to discuss the race.
“We welcome his experience and hope he would like to continue to help in a capacity role we feel would best assist the festival.
“Martin has a good rapport with entries for the race and gives great advice on how to stay afloat.
“However, with an increase in requirements needed to comply with legislation and manage the risks associated with running a large festival, the organisation and administration of the bath tub race along all the other events, is best co-ordinated through the festival team.”
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