Published: 00:00, 27 July 2014
| Updated: 16:36, 27 July 2014
Reigning champions Booze Cruise made it four years in a row in this year’s Castles Raft Race.
The race, which is just one of the events on Deal Regatta’s week long programme, started at the Downs Sailing Club at 2.15pm.
Eight teams competed in the 750m challenge to the pier, including ‘Row Ho Ho’ - five former Boys Grammar School students who return to Deal specifically to take part in the annual event, ‘V.A.Dealites’- an all girl team from Deal Tri triathlon club, who have been taking part for the last five years and this year dressed up as nurses, ‘Hawaii 501’ - four friends in Hawaiian t-shirts and hula skirts, ‘HMS Ducktape’ - five coaches from Deal and Betteshanger Rugby Club and the ‘Twyman norf-enders’ - a family raft which carried the youngest participants on the day Luca Twyman, eight and Oscar Twyman, five.
The ‘Deal Tri Raft’ and the ‘Betteshanger Raft’ went head to head against each other, not only in the raft race but in all the fitness competitions on the day.
The two groups are raising money for Kent Air Ambulance in memory of Deal Tri triathlon club member Daniel Squire.
For most, the race started well, with rafts taking to the water and remaining above the waterline, as the rules stipulated.
Although, the Betteshanger boys didn’t make it far before capsizing in front of crowds on the beach.
‘Row Ho Ho’ led for the first half, before being overtaken by ‘Booze Cruise’. Out of nowhere, family raft ‘Twyman norf-enders’ raced ahead and to the amazement of former champions Booze Cruise, crossed the finishing line first.
However, the team were disqualified for using canoes as part of their raft, meaning Booze Cruise took the title for the fourth year in a row.
Booze Cruise team member Steffan Meadows said: “We thought we’d been pipped to the post.”
The team had painted three stars on their raft and wore shorts with three stars, to represents their 2011, 2012 and 2013 wins.
Captain of the Booze Cruise raft, Ryan Meadows said: “We’re going to have to build another raft and get new shorts now, just so we can fit the stars on.”
Maintaining tradition, Booze Cruise donated their £100 prize money to charity.
Peter Varrall of Castles Removals, who sponsored the event said: “This event needed a sponsor and so we took it up and we carry on doing it. It’s a good day for all and the winners always give the money to charity.”
Following the race, crowds fled from the beach to the street to catch both junior and senior residents of Deal take on the lorry pull at 3.30pm.
The Rizzles, Piranhas in Tiaras and Pull Together were three of the five junior teams who gave it their best shot, while senior entries included Lastminute.com, Invicta Kent and The Hole in the Roof.
The Hole in the Roof team who’s lorry-pulling reputation is stronger than most, pulled the vehicle 30m in the fastest time of the day - 25.28 seconds.
They received a trophy and meal vouchers for the Sir Norman Wisdom in Queen Street, Deal.