The winners of the annual raft race won by just 4 seconds.
The day probably belonged to the Blunderbird. The costumes were F.A.B! Loads more photos here...
Olney's annual Raft Race was one of the most hotly contested for years, with last year's winners the Gaffros being beaten into second place by the Hollow Wood Surfers with a winning margin of just 4 seconds. But for entertainment value, the day belonged to the Blunderbirds, the costumes were F.A.B.....
A veteran team who have competed in the annual raft race for 20 years won the men's contest by the narrowest of margins. Good tactics to get a quick start probably secured the Hollow Wood Surfers their first place. But it was another impressive race from the under 18 crew Gafros to gain their second place overall and win their age group.
For the women's event, there could only ever be one winner. The Take a Plunge crew is a team of friends from the Ousedale Campus. They put in an impressive effort - dressed in day-glo. The before, during and after photographs tell the story of the gruelling event.
The loudest cheers went up for a team of men dressed in Thunderbird costumes, as they paddled their Lady Penelope aboard their homemade Blunderbird raft. It looked wonderful, even if only one of the 'engines' was firing/smoking. They had a slightly hesitant start with some members seemingly relunctant to get in the water. There were also several occasions where the raft threatened to topple in the water. They deservedly won the 'most entertaining' raft. At the prize-giving, the team promised to come back next year, perhaps with another creation.
One of the event's organisers, Mark Luckin, told OlneyOnline: "This was one of the best attended and hardest fought races for years and we hope the crews will be back next year."
These are the full results - but please note that the rafts start staggered at 2 minute intervals, so this time margin doesn't imply side-by-side rafting.
Under 18PlaceTime Gafros1st 24.04 Rugby Club Rafters2nd36.54 Olney Army3rd46.33 Gone Fishing4th51.40 Bodge Job5th1.17.42
WomenPlaceTime Take a Plunge1st44.00
Men and MixedPlaceTime Hollow Wood Surfers1st 24.00 Pearse’s Pirates2nd32.51 Two Brewers Tean 693rd36.35 HMS Emberton4th42.47 Bed Knobs and Big Richard5th1.03.36 Blunderbird 26th1.08.05
1stHollow Wood SurfersMen 25.00 2ndGafros Under 1825.04 3rdPearse’s PiratesMixed32.51 4thTwo Brewers team 69Mixed36.35 5thRugby Club RaftersUnder 1836.54 6thHMS EmbertonMen42.47 7th Take a PlungeWomen44.00 8thOlney ArmyUnder 1846.33 9thGone FishingUnder 1851.40 10thBed Knobs and Big RichardMen1.03.36 11thBlunderbird 2Men1.08.05 12thBodge JobUnder 181.17.42