COMPETITORS made a splash at the inaugural Great Sussex Bath Race 2013 at the weekend.
Teams from across the county converged on Shopwyke Lake, in Chichester, to take to the water in three heats, a grand final and a demolition derby.
The event was in aid of the LifeCentre, the Chichester-based charity that supports survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and Chestnut Tree House, the children’s hospice that covers all of Sussex.
Around £13,000 was raised from the event.
The Hungry Guest, from Petworth, emerged victorious as it saw off all competitors, including BP, John Lewis at Home, British Airways Engineering and Virgin Atlantic.
Operations manager at the Hungry Guest Ben Goldsmith was one of the rowers.
“We just did it for a laugh,” he said afterwards.
He said everyone was a bit reluctant at first, however the team soon took to the water and saw off all challengers to take the title.
The teams had to construct their rafts prior to racing.
Ben offered plenty of vocal encouragement to the team, so much so that he partly lost his voice the following day.
He added they hoped to defend their title next year.
Neil Laughton, event director, came up with the idea of the race.
“I’m really pleased with how it’s gone – it seems everyone’s had a fantastic day,” he said.
He thanked all the competitors, saying: “With the first race today, when I saw one team swimming with barrels amiss from their raft, before they’d even reached the start line, I knew it was going to be a great day. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.”
“I think you’ve all done fantastically well and I want to congratulate all the competitors.
“It was quite funny at the start, all the teams were a little bit tentative” said Rory Payne, of Cocoa Loco, one of the competing teams.
However, he said, before long the teams all got into the swing.
All the competitors and fellow organisers thanked Neil for the work he did in getting the event off the ground – with the final thanks seeing him thrown into Shopwyke Lake. Watch the video to see his reaction.