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Daft rafts rule the waves

Posted at 1:04pm Tuesday 30 Mar, 2021

Crazy homemade rafts, many barely seaworthy, a pie-eating competition and egg throwing set the scene for the annual Stillwater Raft Race.

The event was held on Sunday, March 21 at Stillwater Boating Club.

The theme this year was the 1970s, which was interpreted in creative ways, including a Greased Lightning raft after the movie Grease (which came out in the 70s) and a Vietnamese plane, The Spruce Moose, in honour of 70s TV show M*A*S*H. With 11 people on board, it's fair to say that The Spruce Moose struggled to get up on its foils.

A total of seven rafts gamely entered, spurred on by around 350 supporters.

The raft race is a fundraiser organised by Stillwater Events Committee. Chief organiser was Deb Thearle. She says the money raised, around $1200, will go towards future events in the community such as Christmas in the Park. It is also supporting the setting up of a community garden at the back of Stillwater Community Hall.

The winning raft was Waka Yea, made by four dads; in second place was The Wellermen, put together by five teenagers and Greased Lightning, which also won best costume, was third.

One raft, the Men's Wagon, was built largely in the dark the evening before the race. “It was held together with ratchet straps and high hopes,” Deb says.

The Bath Patrol craft was built of scaffold rigging with four plastic barrels and a bathtub in the centre.

Best Newcomers prize went to Ferg's Angels, who paddled a picnic table on top of six plastic drums.

A messy pie eating event and three egg throwing competitions rounded out the day, along with races on boogie boards and paddleboards.

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