Posted by: KathrynThomas | September 8, 2014

Last launch of the Good Ship Gower

Yesterday saw this years last sailing for the intrepid Gower Rafters.

Having sailed the seas, we turned our hand to river rafting on the Wye.

launching the Kymin Adrift

Leaving Gower meant a change from our original theme of beach litter and since the Kymin is the National Trust Property that overlooks the start of the race, it seemed rude to overlook her. So we set to work adapting our raft. It was topped with a scaled down version of the Round House and all paddlers were dressed in a Nelson theme in homage to the Naval connection of the Kymin.

We also had a change of team members. We said farewell to Jo Caulfield (our champion blogger – so i apologise if the quality of this blog isn’t as good as the rest of her raft blogs!) and Ken Bilton (who spent many a happy hour in our workshop adapting and improving our rafts). A big thank you goes out to both from all their help. Taking their place were happy paddlers Claire Hannington, Rhydian Cox and Emma Holwill.

The turn out was good, Monmouth Rotary Club did a grand job of organising the day and the weather was glorious.
We entered the water by the rowing club in Monmouth and set off for a leisurly float 6.5 miles down the Wye – only kidding, we were paddling for all we were worth!! The scenary was beautiful but we didn’t have time to enjoy it. We didn’t fare too badly with the eggs and flour bomb showers from the bridges and it was very satisifying to overtake so many rafts as we gave it our all.

We had so much fun and it really is the taking part that counts, but you can’t help but get competitive when you’re out on the water. So we were very pleased to find that out of the 104 that started we came in 36th with a respectable time of 2hr 2min and 59 sec!

And a very special mention has to go out to Babara, Hil and Maggie.
They supported us at the Gower raft races, but i never expected them to make it all the way to Monmouth. What a welcome site, especially when Barbara came armed with her special variety of rocket fuel- a very squidgy chocolately Tyffin at about a thousand calories per slice!! Just what we needed with 6.5 miles of paddling ahead of us.

Thank you to everyone who’s been involved, loaned kit and cheered from dry land.


Full steam ahead, shipmates!


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