‘Babes’ dress to impress in Langstone Harbour’s wacky race

PADDLE POWER The Hula Babes power in for a second place finish'. Picture: Steve Reid (122323-536)
PADDLE POWER The Hula Babes power in for a second place finish'. Picture: Steve Reid (122323-536)
Devida Bushrod (front) with (l-r) Maddy Bushrod (13),  Devida's husband Jason, Mark Loudon (nine), mum Sarah Loudon, Ruth Loudon (10), and Angela Kerfoot. Picture Ian Hargreaves  (171556-1)

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DRESSED in grass skirts and garlands, the Hula Babes braved the rain and cold waters to take part in this weekend’s Langstone Raft Race.

And their efforts won the team of six friends and family second place in the annual charity event on Saturday.

WET WET WET The Ship Inn

WET WET WET The Ship Inn

Having learned from their experiences last year, it took the lads nearly three hours to build their raft from donated barrels, wood and celotex.

And the raft did them proud by finishing the race intact and with the full crew still on board.

The Hula Babes’ skipper, Mike Barber, 39, of Lone Valley, Widley, said: ‘It was brilliant, we all enjoyed it a lot.

‘The weather was cold and very wet but that didn’t put us off, we knew we would get wet during the race anyway.

‘But the important thing is that everyone had fun and we raised money for charity at the same time.’

The raft race saw three home-made vessels take to the water, as part of the fun day in The Ship Inn, Langstone Harbour, organised in aid of the RNLI, St John Ambulance Service and the Rocky Appeal.

Warren Thorpe-Fairall, 30, from Chichester, also took part in the raft race alongside some of his colleagues from Co-op in Havant.

He said: ‘By the end of the race two of our team members had fallen off – one even struggled to get on in the first place.

‘It was such a good laugh. We all had a lot of fun.

‘It’s the first time we’ve done anything like that, and it was great – definitely better than a day in work!’

Live performances from bands including the Superheroes also took place and a raffle with a number of prizes donated by local businesses.

Despite the event having been organised for around 13 years by the former landlords of the pub, it was the first time new landlord and landlady, Brian and Donna Brewster, had taken it on.

Donna, 60, said: ‘People weren’t sure if the race would still be on this year because we had taken over the pub, but we are really keen to keep it going.

‘It’s a great event for the community because it brings people together. It always has a lovely atmosphere and people really look forward to it.

‘And it’s all for a good cause too. Charities are struggling to get money these days so events like this are more important now than ever before.’

Around £600 was raised for the charities during the fun day, and donations are still flooding in.

Alice Roberts, 19, from Roundway, Waterlooville, said: ‘It was a fantastic day, regardless of the horrible weather.

‘I’m glad that didn’t put people off coming because it’s so much fun, especially when you see the rafts coming in and everyone’s cheering them on from the pub – it’s great.’