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July 11th, 2017.

Newhaven hung the flags out on Sunday to celebrate Ouseday 2017 and the Lewes to Newhaven Raft Race. The event was blessed with bright sunshine throughout, which at least helped the crews dry out after the ritual soaking at Newhaven bridge at the end of the race.

Before the raft race left Lewes, there was a keenly fought race between the Newhaven Gig Rowing Club’s men, rowing their Cornish Gig Amelie against a team from Lewes all the way down river from Newhaven to Lewes. The exciting finish of the race was incredibly close, with the Newhaven team being just pipped at the post by Lewes. The Newhaven Gig Rowing Club ladies then restored Newhaven’s pride by winning their shorter race – Well done to them!

Newhaven’s Town Mayor, Councillor June Dyer, rode the town council raft Mayor’s Mariners all the way from Lewes to Newhaven. The theme of the event this year was Rule Britannia and in honour of this, June, pictured right, was dressed as Britannia. The raft was propelled by her intrepid mariners – Susie Mullins, Ruth Durrant, Nicky Still, Kevin Lewry and Nick Tipper. Nick kindly made the raft for the town council. The Mayor’s Mariners came sixth, beating hot opposition from the Newhaven Chamber of Commerce.

The winning raft was from Newhaven’s UTC@harbourside.

The rafts and the gigs were met at Newhaven by crowds lining the riverbanks and the swing bridge and a vibrant range of stalls along West Quay with toe-tapping music provided by Earthquake drummers and Nicki Day.