How & why the Hamble River Raid started...?

In 2004, Hamble Sea Scouts faced significant expense, including replacing the roof on its HQ and updating its fleet of boats. A call was made for new fundraising suggestions.

A sponsored rowing race using the dilapidated rowing dinghies owned by the Group was proposed. The idea was met with some concern by the group management on the basis that neither the Group nor the Scout Association had the necessary liability insurances for running public events and concerned about the financial implications if not a success?

However the Group were keen to be involved, pledging manpower and the use of equipment to support the event. A 'not for profit' Limited Company was created to support the Scout group.

At the outset and whilst accepting that Hamble Sea Scout Group is an excellent cause and the ultimate reason for running the event, we believed the event should benefit the wider community when appropriate.

Teams were encouraged to raise sponsorship to compete and to split that sponsorship between the primary beneficiary of the event, Hamble Sea Scouts and a charity of their own choice. Early races saw the Grey Ladies Arts Foundation benefit from the event and a trophy was awarded to the team raising the most sponsorship each year.

Momentum for the event quickly grew and thanks to local support on the river, the Raid committee secured the loan of 4 privately owned Bursledon gigs (Based on the Cornish Cygnus 15' fishing gig).

The River Raid proved to be a catalyst for rowing on the river generally, In turn the Hamble River Rowing Club was created and within a short period more Bursledon gigs were commissioned, including a gig sponsored by the Bursledon Regatta Committee and presented to the Scout Group, allowing them to compete on an equal footing against other teams.

The donation of that initial gig transformed rowing within the Group and saw many young people develop an interest in rowing, their success has been much heralded.

The instigators of the Hamble River Raid, decided that it would be prudent to focus on making the event self sustaining, in part to reduce the financial reliance on themselves but primarily to ensure it’s longevity. Income has been reinvested to provide both a float to cover future years and to allow the River Raid committee to purchase certain equipment, including gigs in order to allow non boat owning teams to take part. These assets are enjoyed by the Hamble Scouts when not in use for the event.

It has been possible for the River Raid to support the needs of the Group including the building of a new work shop among other requirements.