THERE were racing boats, thrills, spills and scores of cheering onlookers fixated on the action taking place in the water.
No, this wasn’t the America’s Cup, but something cheaper, slower and for those involved, probably a bit more fun, too.
And although the Fareham Raft Race has been taking place each year for longer than most people can remember, this was the first year the event has been run by a newly-formed community group, the Fareham Rafters.
Eight crews including Fareham Heathens Rugby Club and Delme Arms plied the waters of Fareham Creek Harbour between Lower Quay and Upper Quay in homemade boats.
Teams faced off in heats before a final splash for glory.
At least one crew, the aptly-named Fallen Angels, came a cropper, their raft starting to sink even before they had reached the start line.
Fareham Rafters secretary Gary Payne said he was delighted that more than 100 spectators had come to watch the raft race.
Gary said: ‘The response has been fantastic.’
‘It’s a good, fun day for the family.’
The race raised money for the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs).
The response has been fantasticGary Payne
Committee member Ron Lewis said the race had previously been organised by the harbourside pub Castle in the Air, but the Rafters’ group was formed to take over this year.
The pub ran a outdoor music festival and other activities in concert with the rafting.
Ron said people were welcome to offer their ideas on how to improve the race day in the future.
‘We hope to make it bigger and hopefully do more things with it,’ he said.