On Wednesday, 13th September, all pupils in Years 5 to 12 gathered in The Ducker dressed in their swim kit and House shirts to battle for the first inter-house taste of glory, the inter-house Raft Build Competition. Pupils were given twenty minutes to build a raft suitable for five passengers. They had four barrels, seven swimming noodles, lots of tape and three inflatable rubber rings. Reception and Year 3 came to watch and cheer on their houses. Before the race began, the audience were convinced of a Shaftesbury win.
Churchill, Rothschild and Shaftesbury were neck and neck at the end of the first length and the changeover of crew was crucial. Churchill slickly got their first racers out of the water and their new racers in, but Shaftesbury struggled with Elina Yang stuck aboard for quite some time! Rothschild were in second place going into the second length. Byron’s interpretation of having at least 50% of your body aboard the raft was interesting, and warped somewhat, so incurred stoppage time to readjust their passengers’ positions aboard HMS Byron! Into length three, Churchill had a clear lead but after a sloppy changeover, Rothschild closed-down Churchill into the final length. Rothschild took a leaf out of Byron’s book and started to have water-bound pushers and not passengers and were stopped to rejig their racers. Thanks to the strong leg and arm work of Jamie Cook, Jasmine Cutts, Ben Cook, Rianne Li and Ryan Chan, Churchill reached the end of the pool and scrambled for the side to take victory.
However, the most exciting was yet to come! Rothschild cruised into second place and with half a length to go, Byron thought third place was theirs, with Shaftesbury 25m behind. However, Shaftesbury had clearly carbo-loaded at lunchtime and speedily chased down the “green army”. Byron dug deep but were pipped to third by Shaftesbury by a matter of seconds (and centimetres). Huge congratulations to all of Years 5 to 12, and namely to Churchill who take the Raft Cup from last year’s victors, Rothschild.