The Boat Parade
OUR OUSEDAY regatta begins with a colourful and noisy parade of boats from Lewes Rowing Club, bearing pirates singing sea shanties.
The rowing club is one of the town’s oldest institutions, dating back to 1874 when the Earl of Lewes and his mates dipped oars in the Ouse as they enjoyed an outing in their gigs.
On Ouseday our members motor, row, oar and sail through the town in every kind of craft proving that whatever your background or the depth of your pocket, there really is nothing more worth doing than simply messing about in boats.
And we are delighted that the singing pirates will once again be in the vanguard of our little flotilla. Mike Green and the Wellington Wailers will wonder what to do with the drunken sailor and entertain all with their countless sing-along shanties. Come along and join in.
Rowing club chairman Brendon Parsons says: “This club has been a part of the Lewes community since 1874 and it was our members who organised the last regatta, back in 1910. It is appropriate that we should be the ones to team up with Round Table and help create this new festival of fun. Our members get to enjoy boating on the Ouse every day and we are delighted to be sharing that privilege with the rest of the community on Ouseday. Response has been extraordinary, everyone has instantly taken the regatta to their hearts. Our members get the whole thing started with the opening parade and then they provide most of the safety boats for the rest of the event. With 450 people on tidal waters, this is no little undertaking. Members also give up many days to help prepare for the day as part of the organising team, called Riffrafters. Others put up posters, or safety equipment. Special mention must go to our regatta admiral, David Sykes and his team, they do an incredible job of co-ordinating all activity on the water, and they epitomise the spirit of this unique, historic and precious club. I could not be more proud of all that is achieved by our members – and watch out this year for a spectacular return to actual rowing on the Ouse.”
David Sykes, pictured blowing on his starters horn, says: “This is a wonderful event, great fun on the water and a great spectacle for everyone watching. Hurrah for the Ouse and for messing about in boats!”
Anyone interested in finding out more about our unique boat club, based in South Street in Cliffe, should visit our website: click here
Enter raft race
When: Sunday 1st July 2017 – Starts tbc (subject to tide)
Where: Raft race starts from Malling Rec in Lewes (by Tesco’s) and finishes at Newhaven Marina
How: Build and decorate a raft that floats and fits under bridges.
Why: To have fun and raise money for a good cause of your choice
Theme: Music – Rock the Boat
Application Entry deadline: 1st May 2018