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1983 Lewes To Newhaven Raft Race

In 1983 we participated in a local charity raft race from Lewes to Newhaven down the River Ouse which was organized by Hailsham round table and hosted by the television network TVS. Contestants had to build their own rafts from basic non boat materials and travel the length of the river without sinking. The quickest boats were crowned winners with all proceeds of sponsorship and other sales going to local charities across East Sussex. EPS, formally known as Pabrico Panels designed a raft made completely from polystyrene which would carry up to six people. Building took several weeks due to many of the complicated parts being hand sculptured and hand painted but made the deadline in time.

On race day, our local transport company Thomsetts, helped us with transporting the raft to the start. Once all rafts were in the water the race begun with many viewers on the embankments cheering the rafts on with the use of flour and eggs. The polystyrene absorbed a lot of water in the race and approximately doubled its weight from the start. We completed the race in a respectable 2 hours 11 minutes and 45 seconds and judges from the network awarded us with the best dressed accolade.


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