Like in the past, this Slow Festival event once again provided loads of fun and laughter and the new venue on the Fish Eagle Green on the Island proved to be the perfect spot!
With ample space to build rafts and lots of parking, participants were happy. Later, hundreds of spectators lined up on the banks of the Swartvlei lagoon and had a superb view of the racing parallel to the banks.
Six teams entered the competition this year. There was a lot of bantering going on between teams and a few outstanding scores to be settled. The area was littered with building material of all sorts, ranging from polystyrene planting trays, tyre tubes, buoys, pool noodles and trustworthy 48 gallon drums – not to mention the very flimsy bamboo craft of the Forest Fairies and the PVC pipes that had the Orange pearl floating. The Criminals (COP team) stuck to their tried and trusted design. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the Roos clan) also stuck to their basic design, but very fittingly decided to decorate it as a Sedgefield tortoise. Once again the finished product and their costumes wowed us as teenage mutant ninjas emerged. The guys of the NSRI had a few problems when building their float and this proved to be near catastrophic when they had to take to the water.
And then there was ZAR – the South African Rand built be team EDGE. The lightweight planters trays laid out in an aerodynamic design duct taped together proved not only strong enough to carry a crew of 5 men and the Webb’s green garden bench (again!), but also had the speed captain Bomber promised weeks before the event already. They completed the racing circuit three and a half minutes faster than the Mutant Ninjas! Also, to the person that was worried about their float going to break up and pollute the whole of Swartvlei lagoon with polystyrene: it was still intact and nothing, not even the garden bench, was left in the lagoon!
Floats were judged on appearance, presentation, team spirit and of course on how well they raced. After tallying up all the scores, there was a draw for first place between ZAR and the Mutant Ninjas. A decision had to be taken whether there should be a race off or not. The gentlemen of ZAR decided to rather share the winnings evenly between the two teams and all were happy.
The organisers would like to thank their sponsors, CIPLA Medpro and Sedgefield Pharmacy for making this event possible. Also, thank you to Mike Wood and the lifesaver of the Knysna Surf Lifesaving Club that kept everybody safe in the water, as well as the guys of Station 23 of the NSRI who were on the scene and ready to launch their boat if necessary. A big thank you to Erich and Mandy, paramedics of Eden 911, for being there just in case someone needed medical attention.
See you all again next year!