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Saturday, 21 September 2019
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Raft race 2007 Print

Winners - but is it a raft?
With the rolling mist slowly starting to disappear, the wildlife was beginning to stir. A vole opened a bleary eye and was dazzled by the sunlight as it reflected off the ripples on the surface of the river caused by a Damselfly hopping from one Water Lilly to another. As the reeds moved back and forth in the gentle breeze a family of frogs exercised their vocal chords. Everything seemed set for another peaceful day down on the river.

Except this was not an ordinary day in the lives of the busy riverbank community. It was the day the Guildford Lions raft race.

Much to the amusement of a duck that was lazily swimming along the river closely followed by five ducklings all in a line one behind the other, men in rubber suits arrived and opened the doors to the boatshed.

Image‘Gaffer’ our 4 man raft was carefully removed for last minute diagnostic checks and tweaks, before it was gently placed on top of Angus’s Land rover, care was taken not to damage the cling film around the base of the raft as this was instrumental to the success or failure of our attempt to conquer the perils of the river Wey.

Once in place ‘The Rat Pack’, our 2-man raft was placed on top of ‘Gaffer’, and Angus carefully drove down to the starting line. What was strange was that whilst the roads were busy, no one drove close to Angus!!! Very Strange.

The starting line for the race was opposite Debenhams and teams started to assemble from 1.30pm in time for the Mayor and his delegation to inspect the rafts and award prizes for originality and innovation.

Gaffer won a prize, for what we weren’t really sure, but it was a lovely looking ashtray, err I mean silver plate.

Gaffer was due to be manned by Dave Culver, Nick Fox, Angus Wylie and Duncan Howe, however with time ticking on Duncan was no where to be seen and a replacement was eagerly sought, with Alex Day offering to fill the void.

The Rat Pack
With the start time looming and still no sign of Duncan, Gaffer and The Rat Pack were gently placed on the river. Just as Alex Day was stripping down to his Y fronts, there was an almighty splash, everyone turned to see what was causing the commotion, and was confronted with what looked like a fish thrashing around on the end of a fishing line.

It was Duncan. He had leapt into the river and was frantically trying to swim over to Gaffer whilst avoiding the other 30 odd rafts that were blocking his route.

Now you may think that for four grown men sitting on a raft, paddling up the river should be a fairly simple task, well think again.

Duncan broke his ore, whilst trying to obtain the phone number of a girl on a different raft, Nick broke his ore trying to splash some people on another raft and Dave lost his ore dropping it in the river trying to fend off yet another raft. It was a good job we had Angus.

Despite all of this Gaffer crossed the finishing line in 2nd Place in a very respectable 36 minutes followed shortly by The Rat Pack manned by Rat and Richard Green in a commendable 41 minutes, which given the fact they spent more time shooting people with their water pistols than they did rowing was very good effort.

The new shed on display
despite attempts to burn it down?

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