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Crafty Craft

Keep afloat with all today's mayhem with our live blog

Chris Ord


01635 886639

Crafty Craft sailing into view

CRAFTY Craft has returned with eager competitors now gearing up to paddle, row and even peddle their way down the Kennet and Avon Canal while trying desperately to stay afloat.

More than 20 homemade boats, will take part in this year's charity event which will see the first water-goers set off from Kintbury's The Dundas Arms at 8.40am, finishing at Newbury's Victoria Park. The Newbury Weekly News team will be here bringing you a whole host of pics and videos of all of today's water-based mayhem

8:19 The theme for 2016 is Rio Sporting Carnival with many vessels expected to embrace the theme with wacky designs and decorations.

There will be activities, games and entertainment from 10am at Victoria Park and live music from 11am.

8:28 Just over 10 minutes till the first crafty crafters take to the water with the 3rd Newbury Cubs preparing to commence the race. Team leader Robert Whitehead said: "We're looking forward to it.

"Some of us have done it before but for others it's the first time.

"We're confident we'll finish... at some point today."

8:45 The James Ballantyne Memorial Fund are preparing to set off. The team are competing in memory of the popular engineer and community volunteer who was killed in a car crash last year.

9:50 The first raft have set off on what is a grey morning here in Kintbury.

9:02 Newbury MP Richard Benyon, who once again started the race, said: "It's a great West Berkshire event.

"It gets the whole community involved for charity, whether it's school children, work mates friends remembering the death of a loved one.

"Plus it's good old English eccentricity at its best."

9:16 The last of the junior teams have set off.

9:19 Jay and Alev of The Dundas Arms providing coffee and bacon sandwiches for the spectators. 

9:30 ... and the first "into the water" are Oggy Inlets.

9:59 A rather wet Oggy Inlet think they know where they went wrong: "We think building a boat using papier-mâché wasn't the best idea!"

10:13 The team from Sovereign Housing Association slowly making their way from Kintbury. 

10:19 Who needs paddles?


10:53 "Getting out is easier than getting in" Malucos Brasilerios navigate the lock at Hamstead Marshall. 



Video "It's all about balance..."

11:19 Team Mambo 101's waterwheel seems to be working for them.

11:35 Bottle neck? Two teams race to get back into the water at Hamstead Marshall -  about halfway to the finish. 

12:13 The sun is out and the Crafty Craft festivities are in full swing here at Victoria Park. 

12:23 Eleven teams have already finished this year's Craft Craft boat race. There are still 16 crews working their their way along the canal to Newbury. According to the marshals the majority have defied the odds and remained dry.

12:50 The 12th team as just made it over the finishing line. First-time competitors Malucos Brasilerios managed to stay dry despite a shaky start. Andy Nichols who has recently moved to Newbury said: "It was great fun.  

"We just wanted to be involved.

"We'll definitely do it again next year, hopefully with a better boat!" 

13:15 One of the organisers of today's Crafty Craft, Marcus Franks, said it's been a fantastic day so far: "It's going really well.

"The park's full, the weathers holding off, we have live music and still almost half the craft still to come in, there'll be plenty going on until the presentation at 4pm, so come down and get involved."

15:30 And the winners are in...

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