British Raft Race Series – Llandysul 2012

The British Raft Race series got off to an epic start with the Llandysul 2012 event, the same white water rafting event that two years prior had seen the start of something that changed the world forever. The smell of honour and glory hung heavy in the air, for the 2012 Llandysul British Raft Race series saw the attendance of both Team Oarsome and the Oarsome Ladies.

As usual the pressure was on for the time trial, which at an early stage determines the positions on the leader board. With its usual gusto, Team Oarsome unleashed its power on the waters, however it was clear that the Raft could not handle the almighty feats of strength delivered onto it and to the untrained eye it could have appeared that the team was out of control (though of course that was not the case). During the time trial Team Oarsome where concerned with taking to early a lead and so to increase the challenge and give the other teams a fair chance they decided to paddle through the sit-on-kayak that was marking the course. The Oarsome Ladies took to their first time trail with style and Grace (she was at the back of the raft with Anna) and the chant of “Oarrrrrrsome……Oarrrrsome……Oarrrrsome” filled the air as the glory fueled ladies flew round the course.

Do I Hear Banjos?

Team Oarsome Men’s head to head was one of the most tense battles the British Raft Race series had ever seen. Up against a team they had not met on previous occasions, “do i hear banjos” (DIHB), Team Oarsome literally went head to head with its mighty foes. Rafters, boats and paddles were indistinguishable from each other. Team Oarsome held strong and edged mightily in front, but DIHB were true to their name, using what some deemed to be immoral tactics, and rammed the Team Oarsome up the back end putting Oarsome’s boat into a spin. Oarsome quickly gained control of their raft and powered on, remaining on the tail of their competition all the way to the end and vowing that they would destroy all stringed instruments.

Time to Party Hard

The theme for the evening was ‘Sporting Heroes’ and Team Oarsome in partnership with the Horny Little Rhinos dressed, unbeknownst to her, as Rosie Cripps of Team GB fame, while the Oarsome Ladies dressed as the Team Oarsome men. Just as the seasons always change and the world orbits the sun, the standard dance off took place. On one side of the room stood an army of the other teams and defiantly on the other side the heroes with the Oarsome emblems held their ground bravely. Move after move was crafted on the dance floor, but it was Team Oarsome’s 4 storey Human Pyramid that sealed them the victory. Jäger Bombs flowed freely and the Teams partied hard, while many returned to their tents to rest in readiness for a new day of rafting, Team Oarsome decided that the shackles of sleep (and even clothes) would not stop them and played half naked Foosball into the morning.

The Day After the Night Before

The Sunday required the teams to complete another circuit of the slalom and both bravely dominated upstream gates with no concerns for their own safety.

The final race of the day was the endurance with the Oarsome Ladies stepping up first, selecting the largest, heaviest boat available, so to ensure the race was fair. Fueled by Jo’s supply of Marks and Spencers Colin the Caterpillar and raw adrenaline the team held a strong top 5 position throughout the race, never allowing themselves to be overtaken by anyone outside this elite grouping. The men’s team’s launched with enthusiasm into the le mans start, but little did the team realise that Yelfy was busy saving helpless orphans (again) and so as a result had to launch himself onto the back of the boat to save leaving the team a man down.

Glory is its own Prize

The prize giving was handled amazingly by Deb Cook (of Team GB fame) and while the crowd roared with the chant of Oarsome the Ladies team graciously (yet heroically) took their prize and claimed the glory of not only their first British Raft Race series, but also their first top five in the UK position. Yet again Team Oarsome men relished the opportunity to wear the infamous blazers and maintained their award winning status.

The Llandysul event of the British Raft Race series will always be close to the hearts of the members of Team Oarsome and 2012 was yet another glorious event, thank you to all those who organised it.