Huge crowds at raft race

The mad cap raft race around the harbour, a Boxing Day Scarborough tradition. Photo by Andrew Higgins 125208a 26/12/12
The mad cap raft race around the harbour, a Boxing Day Scarborough tradition. Photo by Andrew Higgins 125208a 26/12/12
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Thousands of people gathered around Scarborough Harbour to see who would sink or float in this year’s raft race.

The popular event is celebrating its 40th year and the huge crowd looked bigger than ever, with around 2,000 people lining the pier and pavements.

Before the rafters even set off the traditional flour and egg battle got under way, with many competitors covered from head to toe.

This year there were 12 teams taking part and the winners were Big Boys Wear Rubber.

In second place were HMS Doomed and in third place were Queen Anne’s Revenge.

First-time rafters Pride of Staintondale had the unfortunate honour of being this year’s raft that sank.

Organiser Colin Lawson, of Scarborough Sub Aqua Club, said: “The weather has been kind, we’ve had a very good crowd and a good turnout of rafts.

“The crowd has been very generous to the collectors and it’s all gone very well.”

Mr Lawson added that the event has only been cancelled once in its history, when thick ice made the slipway and pavements too dangerous.

He thanked everyone for their help and support, in particular the stall holders next to the Golden Ball slipway for the use of their electricity.

The teams were invited back to the Sub Aqua Club for the presentation of the winners’ trophy.

Among the onlookers was Scarborough woman Kim Kroon, who now lives in Chatham, Kent, and was back in town to see family.

She said: “It’s a great event, a good tradition and good fun. It’s lighthearted and a great start to Boxing Day.”

Jean Blenkiron, of West Ayton, was also among those watching the race, as her daughter Rebecca Robinson was taking part.

She said: “I think it’s wonderful and it’s a great fundraising idea.

“My daughter’s taking part with a team of friends - she’s done it twice now.”

The collection during the raft race - and the football match - was in aid of the Fishermen and Firemen’s Fund.