The sun shone and bathtubs rejoiced as the fantastic flotilla set sail in Littlehampton harbour last Sunday in aid of Chestnut Tree House.
A crowd of hundreds flocked to the river bank and bathed in glorious sunshine as the colourful creations did battle on the Arun, joined by a Dutton Commander, the only amphibious car in production.
River conditions were ideal, aside from a slight headwind on the return journey which proved no obstacle to First Overall race winners ‘BAM a Lam a Ding Dong Trolls’ from BAM Nuttall civil engineers. Their unstable but speedy vessel gave the Trolls a dunking several times but romped home to a decisive victory.
Second overall despite a broken oar and winners of the Best Dressed trophy were ‘Indians’ Gary and Nikki Cooke. They were resplendent in war paint and their vessel sported a tipi decorated with colourful hand prints done by the couple’s children, a totem pole and a camp fire, fortunately not lit during the race.
The Best Designed and Oversize trophies went to team ‘Hula 1’ for their Caribbean themed twin hull design with two tubs side by side. Grass skirts, floral garlands and a solar powered dancing hula girl provided the finishing touches.
First Ladies were ‘Christmas Elves’ Angela Brewer and Jodie Brewer with a tinsel and bauble bedecked craft named ‘122 days to go!!’
The Wooden Spoon was very decisively won by ‘Cowboys’ Nigel Cooke and Sarah Watson. They decided to let the current do the work and stopped for several ‘sun bathing breaks’ on an epic voyage lasting an incredible two and a half hours!!
The huge crowd and glorious weather really added to a very colourful day giving it a great carnival atmosphere. I have organised this event since 2002 and am proud to be keeping such a typically British event alive
First overall - BAM a Lam a Ding Dong Trolls, BAM Nuttall civil engineers, Chris Headon. Mark Christiansen
Second overall and winner of Best dressed tub/crew - Indians, Gary Cooke. Nicky Cooke
First Oversize (Larger than 6’ x 8’) and Best designHula 1 - Rupert Coler. Stuart Sellors. Charlotte Coler. Lyndsey Burton
First ladies - 122 Day to go!!Angela Brewer. Jodie Brewer
Wooden spoon (Last home under own power) - The CowboysNigel Cooke. Sarah Watson.
Estimate of £300 raised for Chestnut Tree House.
Thanks to Felpham Sea Scouts and BAM Nuttall for providing safety boats.
Report and pictures contributed by Martin Harvey, event organiser, Incredible Arun Bath Tub Race.