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7 September 2003

With thanks to Timmy Mallett 

(click for larger image)

The Cookham Regatta was one of the best ever with a record turnout of people and attractions. Dragon boats (with 20 on board) dongolas (paddled punts) and canoe cats (twin canoes lashed together) made up the races on the river.

While on shore we had volleyball which was very popular, swings and roundabouts, coconuts shies, smash the plate stall - noisiest of the lot! a silent auction, Pimms tent, the Cherrypickers' Inn, a wonderful collection of vintage cars and motorbikes (including a great Chitty Chitty Bang Bang before restoration!).

Delicous smells wafted over Cockmarsh too with a Thai food stall, spicy chicken roast, tea and cakes tent, and the scout BBQ.

The Cookham society had a popular stand discussing the proposed cycle route along the river to Bourne End, and the large crowds enjoyed some great races and Charles Benson's eccentric commentary!

Among the teams from all over the Thames Valley were some dedicated oars people from Henley dragon boat club and the Slough Baptist church! 

From Cookham we had a number of successful teams from the Swan Uppers and The Cookham Wanderers who roped in Billy Mallett to bang the dragon's drum and Lorraine Kelly to add some Scottish power to the boat! Together with their friends from the Beacon Dynamo 5 a siders, the Wanderers made the final where they narrowly lost to the Baptists! (narrowly? shouldn't that be by a mile? :ed!)

At least they did better than the Wanderers canoecat steered by Colin Jones which was disqualified for ploughing into the other boat!

Even the odd heavy shower couldn't dampen the enthusiasm though people were heard to comment "our first rain in months....good for the garden etc"

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