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Hoylake RNLI and Sailing Club to mark 50th anniversary of Boxing Day Tug of War

Lifeboats Media Invite

The volunteer crew from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) at Hoylake are set to face a team from Hoylake Sailing Club in what will be the 50th anniversary of the Slater Trophy Boxing Day Tug o’War.

Stratus Imagery

The Slater Trophy Boxing Day Tug o'War attracts hundreds of spectators each year

What: 50th anniversary of the Slater Trophy Boxing Day Tug o' War between Hoylake RNLI and Hoylake Sailing Club

Where: Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station, North Parade, Hoylake, Wirral, Merseyside, CH47 3AL

When: 12 midday, Monday 26th December 2022 (trophy presentation at approximately 1.00pm at Hoylake Sailing Club)

The friendly competition was established in 1972 by Arthur Slater of Hoylake Sailing Club and Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Danny Triggs. Over the decades, it has become firm festive tradition in the local community, now regularly attracting hundreds of spectators and raising vital funds for the lifesaving work of the RNLI.

The event’s coveted Slater Trophy is a small teapot with a rich history that bears the name of the winning team dating back to the very first tournament.

The humble trophy started life in the boardroom of Cammell Laird shipbuilders in the 1960s when the Polaris programme’s Resolution-class submarines were under construction in Birkenhead. The teapot was thrown out, dented and dull, into a McDermott’s sprout box and eventually found its way to Hoylake.

After the inaugural Tug o' War tournament in 1972, the teapot was discovered, polished and engraved with the name of the first winning team - the 'Lifeboat'. So began five decades of local competition, normally celebrated afterwards with a toast to the participants in the Sailing Club.

Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Howie Owen said: 'It’s a special anniversary for the Slater Trophy and like generations before them, our crew are excited to be pulling on their boots to take on the Sailing Club and defend their winning title in this historic, friendly competition.'

'The event is free to watch and a great way to walk off Christmas lunch. We hope that our community will show their usual fantastic support by cheering on both teams. But until then, we hope everyone stays safe and has a happy Christmas.'

Robin Stratton, Hoylake Sailing Club Secretary and Vice Commodore, said: 'It's great to have been a part of this event over the last 50 years. It has become a real Hoylake tradition and brings a brief moment of rivalry between these two longstanding institutions of the town, who otherwise continue to enjoy a great relationship via our shared links with the sea. Whilst the spoils have been shared over the years, our team will be pulling extra hard in this special anniversary year to try and return the Slater teapot to the club mantelpiece.'

Interviews will be available with Tug o' War competitors.

Broadcast quality aerial video will be available for use following the event from Stratus Imagery. Still photography will also be taking place, as well as a live stream on the Hoylake RNLI Facebook page.

This winter, RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews are on call to face the cold weather and rough seas to save people they have often never met. But the RNLI is a charity and its crews cannot save lives without support through voluntary donations. This support is even more special at a time when it costs so much more to buy essentials like fuel for lifeboats and kit for crews.

Spectators at the Tug o' War are invited to help fund Hoylake RNLI’s lifesaving work and donations would be welcomed at any donation point on Boxing Day. Supporters can also donate to the Hoylake and West Kirby RNLI Fundraising JustGiving page. More information on the RNLI’s Christmas appeal can be found at

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact

Dan Whiteley, Lifeboat Press Officer on 07799 851 316 or email [email protected]

Claire Elshaw, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07468 353 082 or email [email protected]

RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789

Notes to editors:

While 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the tournament, it is not the 50th time that the event has taken place as a Tug o' War. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in some past years, it has taken the form of a football match or rowing race.

RNLI/Victoria Phipps

The festive tradition began in 1972 and this year marks its 50th anniversary

RNLI/Victoria Phipps

Hoylake RNLI volunteers take on Hoylake Sailing Club members in the festive competition

RNLI/Victoria Phipps

The humble Slater Trophy has a rich history and bears the name of the winning team since the first competition in 1972

Hoylake RNLI

The Hoylake RNLI team pull on the tug o' war rope in a competition from the past

Hoylake RNLI

The competition is a rare moment of traditional rivalry between the RNLI and Sailing Club, which both have close links to the sea

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.