With weather predictions not in favour of a sunny Slow Festival, the organisers of Anything That Floats went into this year’s event not knowing what to expect: not only could rain be a factor, but the event also had to start and end earlier. With the team of CIPLA – the main sponsor for the event – all fired up and ready to go, the day started at 6:30 on the green behind Placid Waters.
Soon, building material was offloaded and construction began. Due to the early hour of the day, the start of the event was rather slow with not many spectators around but people started to arrive in droves when it was time to judge the floats. By the time the floats took to the water, the shores of Swartvlei were covered by excited spectators ready to cheer and enjoy the fun. There were only two races on a shortened course, but the tide and the wind working against the rowers on their way back to the shore, after turning around, made it so much harder to finish the race.
Once again the creativeness of builders did not disappoint – neither their ingenuity. Inflatable mattresses, pilates balls, bamboo and even a picnic table were incorporated in designs – not that the picnic table made it to the finish line!
Two teams produced spectacular looking floats. The Vikings and The Pirates also dressed the part and had the crowd anxiously awaiting the outcome of the battle on the water. The Pirates won the battle and walked away not only with the coveted Floating Trophy for the fastest team on the water, but also with the title of overall winner of Anything That Floats 2015. These two floats were also part of the Slow Festival parade through the town on Sunday, still entertaining the crowd with scary pirate faces and fierce viking roars.
The other six teams were; the ‘CIPLA Captains’ which was powered by four young visitors to Sedgefield and which shared the overall second place with the Vikings, the homegrown ‘Barrington Bruizers’ that was placed third, Sedgefield’s own ‘Phloating Physios’, two teams of youngsters from Masithandane on floats they had constructed themselves from recycled material under the mentorship of Lisa Roets, and of course ‘The Trytanic’ which attemped to sail under the captaincy of all time favourite Bomber Webb, editor of local newspaper The EDGE.
The ladies of the Dutch Reformed Church and Masithandane were there to feed the hungry builders and spectators with pancakes and hot dogs while working for their charities. The Dutch Reformed Church’s Bursary Fund for learners is also one of the official beneficiaries of the Slow Festival this year.
The organisers of the event would like to thank CIPLA for their sponsorship, Sedgefield Pharmacy for supporting the event and the NSRI for keeping everyone safe in the water.
Press release by Bev Alberts.