A record number of teams raced huge straw bales around Crantock Village last Friday evening whilst helping to raise a record sum of money at a wonderful annual evening of fun and Fund-raising.
Crantock Big Bale Push hosted an incredible 146 teams of four of all ages, who all enjoyed competing with each other whilst raising a record amount for Charities.
“Last Friday, our annual evening of fun for all ages in Crantock village broke all sorts of records in an incredible event,” said Nigel Eustice.
“We had a forty percent increase in participating teams. Last year there were an astonishing 107 teams of all ages, this year we had an incredible 147.”
“Crantock's Bale Push event is now in its's fifteenth year, and we have raised more than £80,000 for many Cornish and local charities in that time."”
“This year alone, the Bale Push has raised more than £8,500 for our key local concerns. This includes £500 which was put up by a local business as a challenge if the Open Race timing record was broken this year. It was at the very last minute, so many thanks indeed are owed for the kind and wonderful gesture by Nick and Becky Jones of Bubbles Linen Services.'
“Also this year one very special bale push team included local man James Bayley, who stopped off at the Crantock Bale Push on the ninth day of his cycle challenge from John O'Groats to Lands End. James is raising funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust and he successfully completed his brave cycle ride to Lands End on the following morning."
This year the Bale Push is assisting various organisations to achieve their aims. Namely:
- The Cornwall branch of Macmillan Cancer Support
- Crantock Church Roof Fund, needing to raise £40,000 to urgently replace the South side
- Cubert School Football Team
- Crantock Memory Café
- St Petroc Society for the homeless
- Surf Life Saving Clubs of Crantock and Holywell Bay
- Parish Magazines of Crantock
“Crantock Big Bale Push would not take place at all were it not for the generosity and support of our wonderful sponsors amongst many local businesses, and of course our very supportive Crantock residents.”
“Special thanks must definitely go to the two village Pubs, The Old Albion and The Cornishman Inn who who again provided such wonderful entertainment and sustenance for all. We try to support our Sponsors also, in our freely distributed and definitely 'tongue in cheek' Programme,” continued Nigel.
Despite the unwelcome attentions of arsonists responsible for burning down the giant straw 'Baleman' and and his straw 'Baleydog' over the previous weekend, the Big Bale Push was held in Crantock village, near Newquay, on Friday 12th of September, starting at 5.30 pm with the ‘Eight and Under’ race, followed by the 'Twelve and Under', 'Sixteen and Under', the 'Ladies Race', and the '180 Veterans Race', finally culminating in the 'ever popular 'Open Race '.
Some truly wonderful results were achieved by so many teams. One shock result in the Ladies was achieved by first placed Biffer Buffers who just pipped the Fairbank Belles, and the many-time winners Chicks With Sticks.
In the 'veterans' race, or '180', new team Helvas Hunks, beat last years winners Holywell Bay Surf Life Saving Veterans in a very good time.
But in the big one , 'The Open', last years winners Holywell Bay Surf Life Saving Club proved unstoppable yet again with a great record breaking time of 2 minutes and 28.9 secs. All the results and timings can be found on the Crantock Bale Push Website.
Spokesman Rick Hopkins said: “Crantock's Big Bale Push continues to grow and it is easy to see why as once enjoyed, never forgotten! It's reputation is now nationwide with visitors coming from far and wide to join in. It is very firmly on the Cornish calendar, and is certainly an essential part of Crantock and as our strap line says, you don’t have to be mad to take part – but it certainly helps!”
The race is run in teams of four, pushing a full size round bale of straw measuring 4' 6" over distances of different lengths depending on the class. But the main course is a full quarter of a mile through the village both up and down hill. It starting and finishing between the two popular Crantock village pubs The Cornishman and The Old Albion.
The full results can be found here.