This year will be the 13th Hamble River Raid. The 'Bakers Dozen' of Hamble River Raids.
The Hamble River Raid was initially created to raise funds for a new roof to the Hamble Sea Scouts HQ.
Thanks to Bernie Wright, Hamble resident and one time mayor of Eastleigh this was successful but only to be replaced by further requirements to ensure the supply equipment to this excellent cause.
The Hamble River Raid has grown to be a major local annual spectacle on the river, uniting the immediate community and those from further afield in healthy fun on our most precious resource, the River Hamble and raising funds for local causes.
Since Bernie kicked it off in 2005 we have been graced by many inspiring members of our community who have started the race, including round the world record breaker Mike Golding, local business leader and donator of the first scout gig ’Point Source’, David Pointer, BBC News reader Dani Sinha who took a turn as cox, Parish clerk, Kate Cullen, Liberal Parlimentarian Chris Huhne, Long distance sailor Katie Miller and paraplegic adventurer Geoff Holt .
Jake Frith, then editor of Sailing Today magazine and keen rower attended as well as giving instruction prior to the event and in 2012 much respected and just retired scout leader Greg Thorne did the honours.
2013 was the year that we welcomed canoes and kayaks to the event which saw a small but very diverse flotilla including elegantly long surf ski’s, K4’s that powered the length of the course at great speed!, K1, Exploration kayaks, general purpose kayaks and a canoe crewed by 3 girls and a dog. Eat your heart out Jerome K. Jerome!
The event has evolved with computers and GPS manned by stalwart volunteers to enhance the time keeping and a tannoy system to keep both spectators and competitors informed.
2014 was the topping on the cake, The weather was glorious, Hall & Woodhouse & The Jolly Sailor donated the beer, As one competitor said, “the Hamble River Raid has become a serious sporting event supported and put on by the local community without losing the element of fun that embraces all ages and skills.”
2015 saw OC6’s, six man outrigger canoes, Stand up paddlers and an increased fleet of Kayaks and Canoes. 'Blazing Paddles indeed' A real celebration of paddling in all forms!
For the 2016 Hamble River Raid, we were joined by David & Christine Hopkins, respected time served Hamble River Boat builder and Yacht Surveyor to assist with the start and to judge the concourse d’elegance. The 2016 event can be noted for being the windiest and wettest Raid recorded.
Let us hope that the 2017 Raid will be blessed with less of those and more of the sun?
The River Raid could not happen without the support of friends, parents and scouts, the Hamble Parish Council and River Hamble Harbour master and of course the competitors. Thank you all for taking part and making it the success it is.
Hamble River Raid Committee.