One of the eagerly-awaited finale events for Scallop Week is the Scallop Race: a team of (usually) four aim to be the first to run with a wheelbarrow of scallop shells from the fish market to the Ship pub in the Strand.
This year a total of six teams took part on a cold but sunny Sunday morning. Billed as a 10am start but actually starting at 11am (well, this is Rye and it was Sunday) and to the cheers of spectators, the teams set off with, this year, the minimum of barging and underhand tactics designed to upset another competitor’s barrow.
With a brisk wind, seemingly from the Arctic, urging them on, 24 runners, six wheelbarrows and goodness knows how many scallop shells wound their way past the fish market, down Rock Channel, over the road at Strand Quay (with grateful thanks to our local PCSO for holding up the traffic) and down the Strand to finish with a flourish by the Ship and within an arm’s stretch of a much-deserved pint.
The winners this year were a team from the Harbour Health Club (again!) who seem to have made this race their own and who were presented with the winners plaque. Congratulations to them and also to our own Rye News columnist, Britainy Rae who, with a team from Rye Runners, finished a magnificent (and very close) third.
Scallop Week is now over and there are just 51 weeks to go before we can do it all over again – a time scale for which those of us who have seen, and often tasted, scallops on every single menu for the last 10 days, may be truly grateful. It has been fun, though, and let us not forget those hard working fishermen, out in all weathers, who bring us these wonderful, tasty morsels.
Ray Prewer, John Minter