A bright and sunny Sunday morning saw Scouts from across East Devon, along with invited guests from Charmouth, gather on Victoria Beach, under the Cobb at Lyme Regis for the District Raft Race. The challenge for the crews being to build the best raft, in the fastest time, and then race it around the Lyme harbour course. Conditions for the race were perfect, with calm seas and a spring tide. Race organiser Nik McCafferty from Tipton St John Scouts commented, “When we were planning the event, this is the ideal day we envisaged”.
Following a safety brief from Chris Seers of Whimple Scouts, drawing on practice sessions, the teams set about building the rafts, with different designs soon evident. Colyton won the quickest build in a time of 5 minutes and 15 seconds! The award for best built raft in terms of design and sturdiness went to Whimple. After a safety inspection, with the harbour walls lined with cheering parents, families and onlookers, the race started.
In an incredibly close finish, Tipton St John narrowly pipped Sid Vale for first place. Comments from the Scouts in both crews were largely about the barrage of wet sponges that had been thrown by leaders on the armada of safety boats around the course. When all Scouts were back on dry land, Alex Spry from Whimple Scouts and his team of helpers served up burgers and hot dogs to the tired crews.
Hugh Salmon, ADC Scouts for East Devon said. “It was a great day for everyone, with the young people from across the District having fun, adventure and developing team working skills. The efforts of all who planned the day are worthwhile when you get Scouts straightaway asking when the next race is going to be. I am sure this will become an annual event”.