The annual Catsfield Boat Race took place on Sunday July 8 with a record 18 boats turning out for the occasion.
As in the last two years the Boats raced, or in some cases cruised, around the 1066 metre course triangle of The Green, Church Road and Church Lane in the centre of Catsfield Village.
After the four heats, in which the course record was beaten by Out of the Blue Vol 2 in a time of 4mins 20secs, the Grand Final consisted of: Hydrofoil; Speed Boat Silly; Out of the Blue; The Orca; Out of the Blue Volume 2; FE Philcox HMS Iron Duke; Mantel Farm and Royal Britannia
In a closely contested race the FE Philcox sponsored boat, HMS Iron Duke won, smashing the course record with a time of 3 mins 59 secs.
The team consisted of Jonty Lavocah, Louis Reddings, Aston Sweetman and Pat Kennedy.
In second place was Out of the Blue Vol 2 and in 3rd place was Hydrofoil. All three teams were awarded trophies sponsored by Freedom Leisure and presented by the Chairman of Catsfield Parish Council, Cllr John Overall.
The Best Boat was judged by staff from The White Hart, sponsors of the award and it was won by Team Tikki Bar, which consisted of Ceri Stokoe, James Stokoe, Liz Neevey and Lee Neevey. Special mention also to the superb Orca Boat, which was a truly amazing creation put together by Paul Willis, bringing back memories of the Jaws film.
In the Children’s races, sponsored by Bowie Lock & Security and organised by Catsfield Pre-school, the winners were: 2-4 years: Leo Newbold; 5-7 years: Poppy Novis and 8-11 years: Oscar Ellwood.
Chairman of the Catsfield Triangle Association (CTA), Scott Lavocah thanked all of the participants for taking part and for the effort they put into making the Boats and to the Marshalls, volunteers, W.I, local bands and gymnastics and karate clubs for giving up their time for free to support the event.
He also thanked event headline sponsors – JC Leisure, Ashdown Hurrey, The Cooden Medical Group, William the Concreter, Freedom Leisure and to the other race sponsors - The White Hart, Hobson & Latham, Gas Plus Energy Solutions, Alfa Electric, Goring & Saunders, Catsfield Village Store, Parker & Son, ECJ, Mantel Farm, The Stitchery Company, Great Park Farm, Bowie Lock & Security, FE Philcox and Meridian Marquees.
Scott finally thanked his dedicated and hard working Committee, without whom the Boat Race wouldn’t have happened - Damian Richards, Russel Cole, Carol Hodgson, Jessamy Lavocah and Dr Sarah Jacques.
This year the Catsfield Triangle Association was raising money for the Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and new stained glass for St Laurence Church.
They will be back in 2019 supporting another village project and a local charity.