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Paddle round the Pier in Brighton

Date
19 July 2013 14:55

Blind Veterans UK members Steve Sparks (Sparky), Scott Wall, Charlie Eastwood and Charlie Parkinson all took part in the Brighton Paddle round the Pier on Saturday 13 July 2013.

Blind Veterans UK members Steve Sparks (Sparky), Scott Wall, Charlie Eastwood and Charlie Parkinson all took part in the Brighton Paddle round the Pier on Saturday 13 July 2013. On the day the team met at Hove beach bright and early at 9am to do the final touches on the raft, which they had been creating at the Brighton centre for weeks prior to the event.

Susan Sayers with the yeoman warderThe team completed the final touches to the raft, securing the plane and other decorations to the main structure. After prep work had been completed, they all headed to the local beach cafe for energy in the way of bacon and sausage sandwiches ready for the race. Fancy dress was allocated by Sports and Recreation Manager Louise Timms, ranging from Marines sailor hat worn by Sparky, to hat and goggles worn by Scott.



When entering the raft into the water balance became an issue, but one that the group were overcame by shifting members and staff around the raft till all eight were on and ready to paddle.

Other rafts had started setting off out to the first boy 200m from the shore. None of the rafters were sure where you had to go, so the Blind Veterans UK team followed the pack. We hadn't considered the sea current which within minutes had drifted us of towards Shoreham.

After some navigational re-aligning, the team were heading on the right path again to the first boy. From there they headed West to the next boy and came under attack from a Peugeot 206 raft. Water pistols came out and firing commenced. The team managed to pass them by and head towards the beach at full speed.

Huge congratulations to the team who were extremely pleased to have made it back to the finish line, fully crewed and without sinking. A job well done. After the event members and staff relaxed on the beach.

Thank you to Adrian Tilford from the Arts department, and other member of staff from various departments who assisted in the guidance of the members building the raft. Adrian was instrumental with assigning and assisting in all the jobs throughout the week. Ranging from making the framework, paddles, barrel strapping and decorations to ensure the raft build was a success.