Paddle Round the Pier 2012 Review
Last weekend (Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 July) saw the Paddle Round The Pier Beach Festival take place once again in Brighton. Whilst the rain had an obvious effect on attendance, organisers are delighted to have once again raised thousands of pounds for this year's charities - the RNLI, Winston's Wish and Surf Action.
Dave Samuel, event director said: "Thank you to everyone for venturing out in what were far from favourable conditions this year to attend the Paddle Round The Pier.
"To have around 20,000 people attend an event in that weather was testament to the affection that the Paddle holds in people's hearts.
"I said at the beginning of the weekend (with the forecast due) that if we made £15,000 profit for the charities then I would be happy and it looks like we have done just that!
"My heartfelt thanks go out to all the exhibitors for sticking with us and our sponsors for getting behind us, plus obviously to all those volunteers who selflessly give up their time each year to make this tremendous event happen.
Despite the rain the event (said to be the biggest free beach festival in the World) carried on regardless, with a huge host of activities taking place.
Just one of the crowd pullers was the "Paddle Something Unusual' raft race. Sam Swanson, who co-ordinated it said: "The crafts this year were varied: a birthing pool, a seaweed draped frame, a DeLorean car, a cricket pitch and many more.
"They heroically made their way around the course much to the amusement of competitors and crowd alike, whilst the water safety crew kept a vigilant eye.
"The winners were the Co-operative Funeral Care Brighton Team who are annual entrants."
The Maritime Marathon, a gruelling 26 mile paddle race saw Andrew 'Milky' Byatt win the prone division in a time of 3 hours 30 minutes; Ryan Jones win the 14' SUP division in 4 hours 54 minutes; and Mark Slater win the 12' SUP division in 5 hours 2 minutes.
The Paddle Round The Pier Festival 2013 takes place on 6th & 7th July, with enquiries already coming in for exhibitors looking to book again and bands who want to play.
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