Posted by: KimBoland | August 20, 2014

The Big Day – RNLI Mumbles Raft Race! Sunday 10th August 2014

As you will have heard by now, the race went ahead even though the weather threatened to halt proceedings.


The creators of the Litter Lout had one last meeting on the Saturday before the race to put on the finishing touches and talk tactics. After decorating her with litter, to include plastic bottles, fisherman’s gloves, ropes and poo bags (remember, filled with sand!), they parted for one last time (one last sleep) before the big day.


Early on the Sunday afternoon, Litter Lout supporters gathered at HQ to rally the team and help them carry her down to the start line. She certainly was traffic stopping, literally, as the crew and helpers had to manoeuvre the raft across the busy Mumbles Road. Once in the proximity of the shoreline and, she received a huge cheer from spectators and other crews. The RNLI team of muscles kindly whisked her away over the sea wall and down to join other rafts at the start position.


Line up at start

The line-up of rafts was absolutely fantastic and it was clear that many teams had put a lot of thought and effort into their vessels; ranging from simple designs of barrels, rope and wood, to a glittering set of reindeer with sleigh and resident Father Christmas in tow.


War Paint

War paint on, the Litter Lout crew made their way down to the start line, after what seemed to be an inordinately long and nervy wait. The sea came in quickly and it was time to jump in the raft in readiness for the off. As the crews jostled for good starting positions and tried to stay afloat and in one piece before the starter went off, the fight to stay dry was being lost very quickly. The camaraderie started with water bombs, water pistols, eggs and flour all in use and nobody was safe from being pelted! The downpour of rain didn’t help either.



After a 10 second countdown the race was on! Paddles clashed, rafts crashed and crews battled to get their teams in the right positions. Whatever tactics had been agreed before the race was probably forgotten, as crews just tried to stay afloat. Once the faster vessels had sped off and other crafts dissipated, the Litter Lout crew set into a steady pace of paddling across the choppy waters towards the finish line at Verdi’s, chanting and shouting instructions along the way.


The crowd on the shoreline cheered and waved, showing their support for their friend and family who were crazy enough to brave the open waters and threat of Hurricane Bertha’s wrath.


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The team were absolutely delighted with the respectable 10th place out of 40 entrants! It certainly made all the effort worth it. The NT Gower team hopes that this has helped raise awareness of the litter deposited and washed up on the beaches. It takes an awful lot of resource to keep Gower looking fabulous and we should all be responsible for making sure it stays that way.


The team did have one war wound to report; one of the crew members fell out of the craft on the ramp after completing the race! Talk about falling at the last hurdle. We won’t mention any names (Jo).


A big THANK YOU goes to all who supported the team throughout the preparation, the build and during the events; for sharing photos and for their cheers and waves on the big day, not forgetting the hard tack that sustained the team right to the end!


After creating such a wonderful beast, the team have voted that Litter Lout should not paddle off into the distance just yet, and have decided to enter her into another, yes, another race! This time it’s the Monmouthshire Raft Race on 7th September, where she will continue her journey along a 6 mile stretch of the River Wye. Come along and support the team there!


Editors note …… We’d just like to say a huge thanks to Jo Caulfield our volunteer blogger who has provided us with these updates over the past few months – Thanks Jo!


Read our previous updates on the Litter Lout:

8th Aug Blog

15th July Blog

9th July Blog

25th June Blog


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