Raft Race


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 18                   Place              Time
Gafros                    1st               24.04
Rugby Club Rafters   2nd                36.54
Olney Army              3rd                46.33
Gone Fishing            4th                51.40
Bodge Job               5th                1.17.42
Women                      Place              Time
Take a Plunge          1st                44.00
Men and Mixed                     Place              Time
Hollow Wood Surfers           1st               24.00
Pearse’s Pirates                  2nd                32.51
Two Brewers Tean 69         3rd                36.35
HMS Emberton                   4th                42.47
Bed Knobs and Big Richard   5th                1.03.36
Blunderbird 2                     6th                1.08.05
Overall           Team                                      Catagory                   Time

1st                Hollow Wood Surfers           Men                       25.00
2nd               Gafros                              Under 18                 25.04
3rd                Pearse’s Pirates                 Mixed                     32.51
4th                Two Brewers team 69         Mixed                     36.35
5th                Rugby Club Rafters             Under 18                 36.54
6th                HMS Emberton                   Men                       42.47
7th               Take a Plunge                    Women                   44.00
8th                Olney Army                       Under 18                 46.33
9th                Gone Fishing                     Under 18                 51.40
10th              Bed Knobs and Big Richard   Men                       1.03.36
11th              Blunderbird 2                     Men                       1.08.05
12th              Bodge Job                         Under 18                 1.17.42