After a successful day cleaning up the beach on Friday, the team went back to the sea for the annual Paddle Round the Pier event. There were carnival rides, food stalls, and, to be expected, loads of inventive, colourful, (thankfully buoyant) water crafts strewn across the pebbles. It wasn’t a bright sunny day like the week before but the clouds were a welcomed relief to the Harvey John team after a couple sunburn-inducing days! (If you want to find out more about the event and the charity behind it, read up here)
The crowds had gathered amidst the water creations ranged from a floating Mexican wrestling ring to a buoyant ping pong table. We stood by the water with our sturdy, if home-made-looking, craft of two kayaks, some repurposed wooden pallets, and a surfboard to trail behind for our 6th teammate. The HJ team and their partners were there to support Alex Mann, Ed Moore, Alex Baxter Smith, Josh Rapaport, Alice Cahill, and Antony Barnett who decided to brave the chilly Brighton waters and set sail.
With the waves crashing up onto the beach, the teams lined up for kick-off. There was a fair amount of excitement in the air (along with a couple timid rain drops) and each team was set off one after the other to take on the loop challenge. While ours had a bit of a shaky start with the surfboard attempting a swift escape from the craft, they were off pretty quickly! Two paddles and a couple arms in the sea propelled the team with the ease of, some might say, an elderly duck. While the rest of the crowd looked on in awe, floaty swans rocked and rolled, a boat full of human-bee-hybrids glided seamlessly, and a three man group with a wheelbarrow moved with surprising speed (amongst others!).
Our team may not have been the first to complete the challenge (let’s just say we stayed behind to make sure the other teams got to safety) but we sure did have fun. Look out for us at next year’s event sporting, at a minimum, another set of paddles!
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