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Raft race teams make a splash

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IT was a test of seaworthiness, paddling and splashing skills and who wanted to win it the most.

Cheered to the finish line by hundreds of spectators, it was the Hayling Legends who emerged victorious in the annual Langstone raft race.

Fine weather ensured a fun morning for all as people lined the banks of Chichester Harbour next to The Ship Inn to watch the spectacle.

Seven teams took part in the race this year, with the RNLI coming in second place and HS Aviation – which won the most elegant raft prize for its helicopter-inspired raft – coming in a close third.

Ironically, the raft that capsized and never made it was from the Royal Navy team, who built the makeshift raft at short notice.

John Bennett, 69, organiser of Hayling Legends Classic Car Club, said: ‘It was thoroughly enjoyable. We came second last year and won it this year, so it’s an improvement.’

The event hopes to raise around £1,000 for the RNLI.

Daniel Bowden, 42, landlord of The Ship Inn, who dressed as a sailor man, said: ‘The RNLI is very important to the local community and is always well-supported.’

Spectator Marita Standen, 53, of Warblington, said: ‘It’s been good fun – a bit of laughter, the stupid costumes and the boat that always sinks at the beginning!’

The winning paddlers were Mr Bennett, Noami Bennett, Des Procter, Jack O’Connor, Saif Hijjawi and Karl Bonney.

 

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