1 river, 2 towns, 500 rafters – Rock the Boat and save the music

Ode to the Raft Race (Newhaven Regatta)

Shining rafts laden

On the Ouse at Newhaven

Our Regatta has begun

What fun!

The wind set fair

Oars in the air


All gathered on the river for the race.


Spectators throng and cheer

“Come on; they’re here”

But on the Ouse oh my

Fighting words are the cry

As the rafters scull along

Amidst the throng


All rowing on the river at a pace.


There are watchers in the shade

Drinking cool lemonade

But a coxswain must steer

And wait for a beer

With a loyal crew

Safely balanced true


With rafters on the river giving chase.


There’s an increased roar

“Come on number four”

And it’s difficult to tell

With a race fought well

Which team will surprise

And finish for the prize


But we will all celebrate our river race.



Jennifer Jones

3 July 2017