Posts Tagged ‘Sandown Pier’

Surfers win Cracker Race

IOW Surf Club wins the Annual Ventnor to Sandown Cracker Race – by Tony Macpherson

This race took place in the early 80’s. We had a surf club meeting in the Castle Inn in Newport and this peculiar race was mentioned. It got everyone interested and we decided to enter.

I offered to build the cracker and others were happy to do the run.

The rules required a cracker which was 12ft long by 3ft diameter. It had to be decorated and six runners had to complete the course with it in fancy dress. The race was from Botanical gardens in Ventnor to Sandown pier.

Annie and I worked on the cracker, it had a 6 inch x 12ft plastic water pipe as the backbone, courtesy of Southern water, six carrying handles, two telescopic handles front and back for passing through narrow spaces and several hula hoops as the frame. Annie and I covered and decorated it ready for the run.

On the day the surf club ran superbly and won, we also won best decorated cracker. My memory is not so good on the next details but I think we won the following year as well.

In the third year we failed to win as some teams broke the rules and used collapsible crackers which could easily pass through the narrow spaces along the course. Not sure what happened to the race after that.

The runners were Dave Jacobs, Mike Smith, Colin Graham, Dave Downer, Neil Smith and Simon Richardson.


SAS demonstration march at Sandown

In 1996 Southern Water were proposing to build a massive network of pipes to pump all of the Island’s sewage to Yaverland and discharge it through a 3.25kn pipe into Sandown Bay after only giving the sewage Primary Treatment (this means they only actually filter out the big lumps). It was going to cost the in excess of £70 million and cause major disruption to the Island. At that time I was studying part time at the IW College and decided I wanted to try and do something positive about our sea’s around the Island. Being a surfer I had come down with nasty colds, sore throats etc etc.. after surfing at Little Hope Beach or Ventnor. I wrote to many individuals including all the Island councillors, Professors of Biology, HR Prince Charles and many others. I contacted the Surfers Against Sewage who were well aware of Southern Waters proposals and they made me the Islands representative for the SAS. Surfers Against Sewage, along with local people and the IW Surf Club then organised a protest march along Sandown sea front from Yaverland to Sandown Pier to raise awareness of what Southern Water were planning to do. Surfers Against Sewage turned up in wetsuits with the gas masks on, many Island surfers were there, along with hundreds of concerned Islanders.