The Trust managed to get together five teams – each of 17 participants – with the aim of raising £5,000, a preqrequisite of registering with the Charities Commission in the UK.
Despite the weather being changeable at best, all five teams did really well, both raising a lot of money, and in terms of competitiveness!
Three teams took part on a very windy, rainy Saturday. “These Bones Were Made for Rowing”, a team captained by trustee Nigel Short and his wife Lesley, dressed in skeleton masks and drawn on bones, set the tone for a fun day, by streaking ahead of another team, “Noah’s Ark” in the first race any of the Trust’s teams took part in.
“Noah’s Ark”, however, captained by trustee Jo Wilson, and wearing full animal outfits, had the last laugh, improving their times throughout the day, and going on to win £150 for being the best dressed Saturday team. Quite an honour when over 50 teams turned out for a host of different charities!
The third team of the day, “Long John Silver and his Motley Crew”, captained by Matt Short, weren’t quite as successful at paddling fast as the other teams, but they gave it their all and had a fun day despite the weather!
And as if a full day of paddling in wind and rain wasn’t enough, two teams came out on a slightly sunnier and warmer Sunday to give it their all, cheered on by our new patron, former Holby City star Duncan Pow.
The “Cavegirl Rowing Club”, captained by Bekki Pyefinch and Anna Parsons, and assisted by two “Cavemen” and two “Cavewomen”, proved to be a very popular team on the day, and put in a hard shift competing against many strong – predominantly male too – teams. In fact, they were the only team of all girls in the whole weekend!
The charity’s final team, called “Baywatch for Bone Cancer”, captained again by Matt Short, and supported by a number of old school and family friends, also took advantage of the slightly improved Sunday conditions, using all of their effort to scrape the sixth fastest time of the day, earning themselves a place in the final.
Despite being the slowest team on paper, some dogged determination and youthful fitness saw them sneak the runners-up spot in a fiercely contested race, culminating in three boats “clashing oars”, and one Baywatch member fracturing a thumb!
It was a fantastic finale to an incredible weekend, which raised – early indications suggest – about £10,000 for the charity, more than doubling the initial target for the weekend.
Thanks must go out first and foremost to the participants, many of whom gave up their entire weekends to take part and come down to help out, as well as their families, many of whom helped out on the stall and went around shaking their collection buckets to raise that little bit extra from passers by.
Thanks also have to go out to everyone who sponsored a participant, and everyone who helped make the weekend a fantastic launch for the charity!