On your marks, get set

03:11, Jan 28 2013
Cameron Rowe
Cameron Rowe and Tamati Matene celebrate winning first prize - the rest of the crew are in the foreground.
Derek Quigley
The Crusaders: Caine Ivanow, Derek Quigley, Tamati Matene, Cameron Matene, Natasha Knox, Louisa Acton-Adams, Jenifer Healey, Leon Rowe, Mark Burdon, Jo Marfell.
DJ Monster
Everyone pitches in to help team D J Monster to the finish line
Raft race
The waterless raft race
Raft race
Cheers from the supporters
Jack Benseman
Jack Benseman, 13, and Caleb Reeves, 12
Lydia Columbus
Lydia Columbus, 12, and Emily Cross, 12 in their Kiwiana raft named Sweet as Bro
Olivia Marr
The Floater crew sprints for home: Tiare Lambeth, 11, Brooke Hanrahan, 15, India Lambeth, 15 and Olivia Marr, 15.
Raft face
Start of the teen race
Chris Hayles
Blenheim rural fire force kindly added some water to the race. Firefighter Chris Hayles helps his daughter Emily Hayles, 9, with the hose
Joe and Sid Knobben
Twin power: Joe and Sid Knobben

If the 30 entrants of the More FM Raft Race thought they would remain dry on the banks of Blenheim's Taylor River yesterday, they were wrong.

Water balloons, waterguns and the Blenheim rural fire brigade's high pressure hoses kept the crowd of 180 cool despite the race taking place on land rather than on the water because of health concerns.

The classic duel between Ford and Holden was played out in the adult heat.

Team Ford manned by Richard Ford showed his lightweight and aero-dynamic cardboard car was just enough to beat his rival Rob O'Donnell, of Team Holden.

"It was a bit of a tussle, but Ford came out on top, living up to it's name - first on race day," said Mr Ford.

Twin brothers Joe and Sid Knobben, 11, gave an impressive show of teamwork and fitness as they ran their dual inner tubes named Twin Power across the line to take the top spot in the family heat.


Inner tubes appeared to have the ideal weight-to-speed ratio, with David Foster dubbed The Loner, 13, taking the win in the teen event carrying one of the light rubber rings.

The fleet-footed youngster even had time to dodge the barrage of water balloons thrown by competitors and supporters.

Competitors had adapted to the last minute course change from the river to its banks, and their were some fine examples of Kiwi ingenuity on display.

Good friends Jack Benseman, 13, and Caleb Reeves, 12, rebuilt their cart named We Forgot from scratch after the change of course from river to land.

Complete with push bar, roll cage, axle, wheels and even brakes, the cart took a few days to build, and while it wasn't the quickest in the field was one of the more durable.

The Marlborough Express