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Rain holds off to keep Crafty Crafters 'dry'

Annual boat race sees Newbury have a taste of Rio

Chris Ord


01635 886639

Rain holds off to keep Crafty Crafters 'dry'

The rain held off for Crafty Craft to keep spectators, as well as this year's barmy boaters, dry.

The annual event, which once again was organised by the Newbury Roundtable, saw 26 team take on the challenge of constructing a boat and navigating it down the Kennet and Avon Canal from Kintbury to Newbury.

Organisers had chosen a 'Rio Sporting Carnival' theme with many of the crafts decorated with Brazilian flags and other Carnival paraphernalia. 

Crafty Crafters took to the water paddling (and peddling) the gruelling route in all manner of boats, including inflatable rafts, wooden boats, and even papier-mâché (although that one didn't last too long).

Forecasters had warned the Bank Holiday may be a wash out with rain predicted, but luckily the day remained a fairly dry affair for all.

Of the 26 teams all but two crossed the finishing line in a charity event which is hoped will raise thousands for local good causes.

The James Ballantyne Memorial Fund were crowned Fastest Adult Team after completing the course in 1 hour 27 minutes.

The group, made up of friends and family, entered three teams in total and took to the water in memory of the 23-year-old Hungerford Newtown man who tragically died in a car crash last year.

The fastest junior team went to Splashy Samba Sailors who completed the course in an impressive 1 hour 40 minutes.

Chief organiser Marcus Franks said: "It's been a great day.

"We've had a lot of people down at Victoria Park, we've had some great live music and hopefully raised a lot of money for some good causes.

"We were lucky with the weather so the crowds came out.

"we hope to have raised around £6,500 to be given out to local groups and charities throughout the year."

For all of the pics and a full round up of the winners pick up a copy of this week's Newbury Weekly News, out on Thursday!

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