RACING pub regulars will take to the River Dee in the shell of a Lotus car.
The team of ten regulars and bar staff from Old Harkers Arms in Canalside, Chester, will don dinner jackets before arming themselves with an oar each and taking to the waters on Sunday for the James Bond themed raft race.
They will battle it out against 39 other wacky creations from a cross section of the business and local community.
They have christened their makeshift vessel ‘The Man With the Golden Pump’ and will be captained by landlord Paul Jeffery.
Contestants will paddle for more than 400 metres, from the Meadows, past The Groves, over the weir to the finishing line which is adjacent to the Old Dee Bridge.
The oarsmen are raising money for this year’s main beneficiary, Age Concern at the Rotary Club event.
Thwarted last year after the event was cancelled because of dangerous river conditions, they have taken part in the charity race in year’s gone by so know exactly what to expect.
One of the would-be special agents, Rob Blackwood, said: “It takes half an hour going down there and three hours going back up! It’s chaos on the way back with everyone throwing things at each other.”
Borrowing the use of a warehouse in Riverside Trade Park, Saltney and receiving material from local builders and barrels from the pub’s suppliers, the team have been hard at work making their craft riverworthy.
Rob added: “We knew someone who had the shell of a Lotus Elite so we thought ‘that’s the raft sorted!’ We’ve painted it battleship grey and will be racing in dinner jackets.”
Sue Littler is official cheerleader for Cheshire Waste Skip Hire’s entry ‘The Skip’ and says her 17-year-old daughter will help to set the pace.
She added: “Everything in the raft is salvaged from skips. It’s all aluminium tubing and barrells.
“There’s going to be someone at the front banging a drum. We’re not in it to win it but we’ll be noticeable!’
“But we’re going to win.”
Tony MacDonald, licensee at the Greyhound Inn, Farndon will board ‘Live and Let Dee’, constructed from the carbon fibres of a yacht’s mast, with five pub regulars.
“The year before last we came 13th, so we might try to go for a podium finish this year,” he said.
Prizes will be given for the best interpretation of the theme, as well as for the three fastest time classifications of ‘Overall’, ‘Ladies’ and ‘Hostelry’.
The fun will start at 10.45am.