GALLERY: Shoreham RiverFest 2014

THOUSANDS of people flocked to Shoreham over the bank holiday weekend for Shoreham RiverFest.

The second annual festival was a great success, despite bank holiday Monday’s rain putting paid to the charity swan race.

S34683H14  Dragon boat racing on the River Adur

S34683H14 Dragon boat racing on the River Adur

The river swim on Saturday, August 23, dragon boat racing on Sunday, August 24, and 10km race on Monday, August 25, however, attracted large crowds, and music on Coronation Green and in East Street also proved popular.

David Steadman, Adur town centres co-ordinator, said: “It was a fantastic success, bringing thousands of visitors to the town throughout the weekend.

“With the colourful dragon boat race, musical entertainment by the river and music at many other venues, the NTC marching band across Adur Ferry Bridge and activities at the Adur Outdoor Activities Centre and Adur Recreation Ground, it created a truly incredible atmosphere enjoyed by everyone.

“Businesses have reported excellent trading. Unfortunately, the weather on bank holiday Monday dampened some of the activities, including the swan race, but overall it has been a great event.”

More than 130 athletes took part in the Shoreham River Swim Race, competing at 3.5km and 2.5km distances.

The fastest times yet were recorded in the race, organised by Raw Energy Pursuits, with 17-year-old Chloe Pollard from Eastbourne finishing way ahead of the pack in 41min 49sec, winning the 3.5km race.

She said: “It was a good race and I led all the way. I actually went aground on the way there, before the second bridge. I must have gone too far to the right.

“I just stood up, moved over and started swimming again.”

Chris Sutton from London, a member of Otter Swimming Club, won the 2.5km race.

He said: “It was hard work but good.”

He had been keen to take part as his parents live near the River Adur in Shoreham.

On Sunday, the dragon boat racing saw people lining Norfolk Bridge and the riverside at Ropetackle.

Teams battled it out in two-boat races, including groups from Shoreham pubs Suter’s Yard, the Duke of Wellington and the Royal Sovereign.

In the afternoon, young people from the Nautical Training Corps gave a performance to remember.

The West Sussex South Region Mass Marching Band marched through the town centre, stopping to play in East Street before crossing Adur Ferry Bridge.

Band members are cadets and officers from TS Intrepid in Lancing and Sompting, TS Implacable in Littlehampton, TS Montrose in Rose Green and TS Sturdy in Chichester.

Other RiverFest activities included a small classic car show on Adur Recreation Ground on Sunday and street theatre in East Street.