Ironbridge Coracle Regatta 2022

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11 December 2022

During the lockdown, there must have been a few twitchy coraclers when August Bank Holiday Monday came around. So when the annual Ironbridge Coracle Regatta returned last year, there was a sense of things getting back to normal. Like Christmas Day, it's a fixed date in the calendar.

Last year's event was very successful, albeit on a reduced scale. Gerwyn and I have retired after looking after the regatta since Moses was a competitor. The Ironbridge Coracle Trust have taken over with a long overdue injection of professionalism. However, the event still retains its slightly shambolic approach. Herding cats is easy compared to organising coraclers.

This years regatta was even better. We were blessed with good weather, which makes all the difference to an outdoors event in Britain. consequently, the banks were packed with people enjoying themselves. ICT had taken the precaution of providing a clear approach for coraclers to reach the water thus avoiding the problem of bashing the general public with boats or paddles. Why didn't we think of it before?

Away from the river there was a range of traditional games such as a coconut shy, hook a duck and other fairground favourites. You could also have a go on a kiddies pool if you passed the age test (and wore a life jacket!). There were plenty of stalls to look at and experts giving advice on all sorts of things. What do you need to know about composting?

We had been worried about replacing Gerwyn as the commentator. After all, who else could waffle for Britain in quite the same way. Fortunately, his daughter Mary proved equal to the challenge. Perhaps there's something in this genetics business after all. as usual, there was a variety of craft on show including the traditional Ironbridge style made at the

Green Wood centre over the weekend and having their maiden voyages at the regatta. We must also mention Mike Twitchen's vessel made from a plastic barrel cut lengthways and joined by a board. Is it a coracle? Discuss. It'll be a formidable entry in next year's wacky coracle race.

So a good time was had by all. There were enough people falling in to amuse the spectators, the racing was fierce and we even got a score in the polo. Not to long to go before the 2023 regatta.