By Lotte Pegler
Celebrations were in order for a number of reasons as this years Pagham Pram Race winner also celebrated her birthday.
Kim Arlaud was first to cross the finish line on Boxing Day with her team of four competitors.
The winning team consisted of Kim Arlaud, 27, Jamie Archer, 25, Mike McCarron, 25, and Joe Woods, 26.
This year’s race was Kim’s first, despite her team having competed without her for several years before.
Jamie said: “We’ve done it for about seven years now, but this is Kim’s first. It’s a bit of a tradition now, loads of my family have done it, like my cousins, so it’s nice to keep it going. It’s all good fun.
“We’d definitely like to take part next year but obviously it depends on the weather. The rain this year definitely did mean less people turned up and probably less participants.
“Then again, that probably worked in our favour so we could win! It was Kim’s birthday on Boxing day so it was a nice way to celebrate her birthday.”
While for some the annual event is about winning, for many it is an opportunity dress-up and fun, while raising money for charity, and the categories celebrate this.
Patrick Harmsworth was awarded first place in the Fancy Dress category, with his team the Avengers End Pram.
Patrick said: “It’s 12 years that I’ve been doing it, I started off with a friend had been doing it for years, we did it representing the St Thomas a’Becket Church. Then I decided to do it separately based around movies.
“We’ve been doing it for the last five years. We’ve done the Dark Knight, Harry Potter, two lots of Star Wars, and now of course Marvel. We wanted to do a big one this year with it being such an important time for Marvel fans.”
Patrick’s team consisted of his wife Jan and daughter Jennifer, Collin Simmons, Collin Cooper, Natasha Halloway and her boyfriend Luka, and Kim Bressington.
“We started work on the pram back in September,” Patrick continued. “Luckily we already had the boat attached to the two prams so we just developed that. With the recent bad weather it’s hard at times to build it. At one point we thought we might not even finish it in time. It’s such good fun.
“When I first moved down here I didn’t even know what it was, I’ve been living in Pagham for about 25 years now. I looked at it and thought, ‘Wow it looks like great fun, we should take part.’
“It’s great to raise money for charities that are local, where we know where the money is going. It’s the crowds responses that make it so worth while, it’s amazing. I’m definitely going to do it for years to come.
Of course, the majority of those who attend the event aren’t taking part, and instead play the vital role of cheering and general support.
The race on Sunday was the 74th of its kind, an event that continues to draw in people from across the country since its beginning in 1946.
A strong and dedicated team help organise it every year, ensuring that rain or shine it goes ahead.
This year’s team was put through its paces as they braved the rain.
Tim Holland, the chairman of the Pagham Pram Race committee, said: “We were of course disappointed with the weather on the day, and as a consequence the spectators were down to about half .
“This in turn affected the street collection on the day. However, we are very pleased with the amount donated and all of this goes directly towards our Helping Others fund and helping the local community.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Pagham for their generosity and support. In addition we wish to thank all our sponsors for their continued support. Our biggest thanks must go to all the race entrants in the race who are a hardy bunch and it will take more than rain to put them off!
“There will be a presentation night in the next few weeks, details which will be announced via our website, paghampramrace.com, shortly.”
Despite the rain, the event raised an impressive £2,625 which consisted of the money raised through collection buckets and entry money, as well as prize money returned by winners.