Southern Nomads reclaim RNLI Tug of War Trophy after 36 years

Lifeboats News Release

The inaugural RNLI All-island Beach Tug of War Trophy took place yesterday (Sunday 8th August) on Chapel Beach Port St Mary, where 14 teams took part in a knockout competition to try and claim the hand carved wooden trophy originally awarded in the 1980s.

Taking part in the event were teams from 4 of the islands RNLI stations, as well as groups from Castletown Ale Drinkers, the Young Farmers men and women, Argon, No. 16, Island Aggregates, the Secret Pizza Company, and the Southern Nomads. There was also a team from the events corporate sponsors Excel Construction & Corefix who provided t-shirts for all of the participants, and finally a team who only entered on the day made up from 4 friends visiting the island and 2 locals willing to make up the team of 6 who came to be known as Toni’s Cronies!

The proceedings were commentated on by Manx Radio’s Chris Kinley, who kept the audience updated on all the action and encouraged them to cheer on all of the teams.

By the semi-finals Port Erin RNLI were the last of the islands lifeboat stations still standing, along with Toni’s Cronies, the Isle of Man Young Farmers Men’s team, and the Southern Nomads. Unfortunately, Port Erin RNLI were knocked out, as were Toni’s Cronies, who did exceptionally well considering they had only been thrown together on the day.

Then it was time for the final which consisted of the Isle of Man’s Young Farmers Men’s team, coming up against the Southern Nomads. It was best of 3 pulls, with Southern Nomads managing to pull the rope across the line onto their side in a time of 40 seconds in the first pull. This obvious helped spur them on to victory as they also won the second pull after only 11 seconds!

Chris Kinley then welcomed His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Richard Gozney who had been watching the final on the lower promenade, to present the prizes. The runners up, Isle of Man Young Farmer’s Men, received a certificate of thanks each from the RNLI for their support along with a mini keg of beer provided by Okell’s. The Governor then went on to present Southern Nomads with certificates, medals, mini kegs of Okell’s beer and the all-important trophy!

Chairman of Port St Mary RNLI Fundraising Branch David Scott said ‘Thank you to all of the teams who came and took on this challenge, as well as their friends and family who cheered them on and supported the many stalls. The last year has been challenging for the RNLI and we are delighted to be finally able to hold this event, and raise vital funds which enable us to keep Saving Lives At Sea.’

Next year’s RNLI All-island Beach Tug of War event is planned for Sunday 15th May 2022, and if you would still like to donate to this year’s fundraising campaign, then please visit our JustGiving page

RNLI/David Hill

Southern Nomads collecting the wooden hand carved Trophy made by Terry Kelly in the 1980s.

RNLI/David Maddrell

The Southern Nomads Team being presented with the Trophy by His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Richard Gozney.

RNLI/David Hill

3. The Runners up, Isle of Man Young Farmers Men’s team collecting their certificates.

RNLI/David Hill

Runners up Isle of Man Young Farmers Men’s team pulling in the final

RNLI/David Hill

Southern Nomads pulling in the final

RNLI/David Hill

The stalls all laid out on the Lower Promenade

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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