The Raft Race - Dress Down!
The annual Lynmouth Raft Race is usually held on a Sunday in July or August, with exact dates and times depending on the tides, and is one of the highlights in everyones' social calendar, whether participating actively or not. The raft race is organised by the local Lyn Lions and is a purely amateur event with all craft being home made with whatever materials are available. This is a great family fun day out with a collection of stalls in the village centre, live music and entertainment and of course the race itself.
Whilst the race can be very competitive it is not really taken TOO seriously; one of the traditions is that the spectators "bomb" the competitors with flour at every opportunity but remember that the participatants are allowed to fight back!
The event is well supported by local businesses and visitors and raises several thousand pounds for local charities.
For more pics see travelogues. Website below is general N Devon events page:
The Wave Turbine Out In The Bay
Looking out over the bay there is a odd, out-of-place, modern structure protruding relatively inconspicuously from the waters. Doing a little research reveals that this is actually quite a fascinating little experiment into renewable energy resources; generating electricity from the power within the local tidal flow.
This project, entitled "Seaflow", has been jointly funded by the EC and the British Dept of Trade and Industry, and is basically an upside-down wind generator with a submerged 11 metre twin bladed rotor producing electricity from the flow of water as the tides come and go and is a prototype for developing a larger scale "tide farm".
Lynmouth was specifically chosen as the location of the experiment as the Bristol Channel at this point has a relative strong tidal flow but without the water being too deep, allowing the turbine to be installed without the need for expensive diving operations. The submerged blade and gearing can be raised out of the water up the supporting shaft for servicing and repairs.
Link below is the EC report, which makes quite interesting reading:
Lynmouth Raft Race 2006 Part2 - On The Water
One of the things about the raft race is that whilst a lot of effort is put into the whole thing, the organisation, the theming and building of the rafts there hasn't really been any forethought about such things as practice and more to the point practicing as a team. The result is that the craft end up facing in every which direction as the stronger paddlers cause the boats to turn against the direction of thier weaker colleagues.
Once they start to get the hang of it however some sort of order begins to establish itself as the rafts get out onto the bay towards the turn back to shore. Apart from the poor green raft which has capsized yet again!
Having made the turn the main contenders start to get into a rythm, assisted by the fact that the tide is still incoming. Here's the "police" team from the Globe up the top, looking definitely as if they are going for it.
This is the Bath Hotel team, the "Robin Hoods", having spent most of the early part of the race going round in circles under constant flour bombardment. Unfortunately they are no longer in contention but are making a valiant attempt to get back to the pub for a beer or two!
Here's the "Noel Coward's" also out of contention but with the pub in sight too. Check out the local spectator in the top left corner of the pic :)
The local gangsters were helping a convict to escape from Dartmoor prison and seem to have taken a wrong turning but ended up with a very creditable place, second I think.
Now these guys not only look as if they have been practicing but have also done a bit of research into boat design.
The old girls from the retirement home are left to the mercy of the gulls, circling like vultures, whilst everyone else has long returned to the shore. Well that's 4 less for the state to have to support.