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Another vintage year for Gibraltar’s Charity Cardboard Boat Race

1st September 2015 Print

Last Saturday 22 August saw the seventh outing of Gibraltar’s comical Charity Cardboard Boat Race. Taking place, as always, in Ocean Village Marina, organisers William Tilley Lodge RAOB managed to pull off another vintage event for competitors and spectators alike.

Emilia Hazell-Smith, Marketing Executive for Ocean Village, said, “It’s always a treat to see crowds packed into the Marina, jostling for the best vantage point on Leisure Island and the pontoons, and the genuine family-friendly atmosphere that surrounds this now iconic event. With races for children and adults, prizes and pride are at stake and the effort that goes into boat and costume design never ceases to impress us. The skies may not have been as blue as previous years but, unlike many participants, spirits weren’t dampened and local charities will benefit from this fun fundraiser.”

Following tradition, the event began with a showcase of all competing crafts at Casemates Square. Here judges made first decisions on design and fancy dress, as well as ensuring the vessels adhered to strict rules that include the banning of plastic, wood and foam. The ‘circus’ then moved to the Marina for the real race action.

Winners of the noon children’s race were ‘The Sinking Slice’ from Pizzeria Plaza, knocking JP Haulage Jrs into second spot, and picking up a stash of prizes including In2Adventures SUP vouchers, SMART cap and beach towel from Gedime Motors and a mini speaker and ice cream tokens from OV Express in the process. The runners up grabbed a Pizza Express voucher.

In fact it was a clean sweep for Pizzeria Plaza with the adults also scooping victory in the very same boat, ‘The Sinking Slice’, and they walked away with a La Sala Gibraltar voucher. It wasn’t without controversy though, as they jumped the starting gun. With a handful of vessels immediately sinking, it was impossible to conduct a restart but Pizzeria Plaza were rightfully allowed to keep their trophy by virtue of an eventual 20-length winning margin.

O’Reilly’s had been pre-race favourites, having won the adult event five years running from 2010-2014, but they didn’t leave empty-handed and were handed Best Titanic Sinking – despite not actually sinking. Their cardboard boat converted to a submarine for 90% of the race with the two oarsmen managing to valiantly make it to the finishing line holding their breath. O’Reilly’s certainly deserved the plaudit alongside an aromatherapy massage from Aphrodite Beauty and a full valet from Silver Star Shine.

The Boat Design accolade, and with it a Casino Admiral Gibraltar voucher, went to the colourful Cool Runnings-inspired bobsleigh ‘Tallulah’ from JP Haulage with Whim ‘HMS Sinkalot’ claiming Best Fancy Dress and a VIP table at Dusk Nightclub for their seven-person caveman ensemble.

Miss Gibraltar 2015, Hannah Bado, was on hand to give out prizes and, aside from hosts Ocean Village Marina, event sponsors came in the shape of La Sala, Brunos, The Cuban, O’Reilly’s, Gedime Motors, Ocean Village Express, In2adventures, Pizza Express, Burger King, Dusk, Casino Admiral, Music Corner, Aphrodite Beauty and Silver Star Shine.

All proceeds from the day went to Diabetes Gibraltar, Calpe House, The Scouts Association and GBC Open Day.

For further information on Ocean Village, visit