THOUSANDS of people descended on Selsey beach for lifeboat week.
Sunday (August 3) saw the shoreline awash with people of all ages who enjoyed activities throughout the day, including a classic car display, funfair, raffle, air display and a raft race.
Selsey Lifeboat fundraising chairman Tracy Riddolls was delighted with the event.
“We’ve had so much support from locals all week,” she said.
“On behalf of everyone at the lifeboat station, I would really like to thank everyone, including our sponsors.
“We appreciate the support of residents and the community.
“We hope everyone enjoyed themselves.”
Congratulations go to the East Beach Evangelical Church, otherwise known by team name ‘The Vikings’, for winning the best-dressed raft.
The Selsey Lifeboat team won the raft race, which was cheered on by spectators of all ages.
The week-long event raised cash for the RNLI Selsey Lifeboat, with more than £700 alone brought in from raffling a bicycle.
And competitors in the raft race on Sunday didn’t splash their £225 winnings – they handed it straight back, while sponsors High House Insurance matched the prize money.
Brian Hall is chairman of the Selsey Royal Naval Association, which has some 95 members and has been going for 36 years.
“We raffled a bottle of rum, with proceeds split between the RNLI and the RNA,” he said. “For the price of the £1.50 ticket, people also got to try a tot of rum.
“We have a stall here every year and it’s really great fun.
“We are a very social club and have an active calendar, but are looking for more members – people are often shy about joining.
“We meet on the second Tuesday of the month, and membership is open to all former Royal Navy personnel, and Royal Marines.”
There were many events throughout the week, including Friday night’s tug-of-war and fireworks which was well attended by locals and holidaymakers.
In the men’s competition, The Fisherman’s Joy, The Lifeboat Inn Luggers, Stonecold Training and the Lifeboat crew battled it out.
Stonecold Training won the Observer cup which is given out to winners each year.
In the ladies’ competition, Check-a-trade Ladies were up against a team cobbled together at the event, the Selsey Birds, including Observer reporter Bex Bastable. The Selsey Birds ended up victorious.
There was also a competition between the local Beavers and Scouts clubs, joined by children in the audience, and a tug between the Appledram Centre and the Aldingbourne Centre.
The night finished with spectacular fireworks on the seafront.
Other events throughout the week included a charity dog show, a fishing competition, a lifeboat open day, car treasure hunts, and plenty more.
The money raised from this year’s lifeboat week will go towards a new Shannon lifeboat for the station.
The Shannon class all-weather lifeboat was designed by RNLI naval architects and is scheduled to arrive at the station at the end of 2015.
It will feature cutting-edge technology, with a top speed of 25 knots.
Last year’s lifeboat week raised almost £19,000. The total raised from this year’s lifeboat week was not revealed as the Observer went to press.
For more information on the Selsey RNLI and how to support it, visit www.selseylifeboats.co.uk