The twelve Joe Way Paddle for Life at Newquay Harbour started with dramatic scenes as four skydivers jumped from a plane at just 5000ft.
Skydivers Ben Wood, Dave Wood, Olly Denham and Ralph Mitchell gave the crowds a real show with a record attempt to land on a surfboard on Towan beach. With an unusual wind turbulence under the 1000 feet point it was tricky but skydiver Ralph Mitchell who had driven down from Oxford to make the jump managed to land on the board to the crowd’s delight.
Dave had the honor of deploying Joe’s flag which created an amazing sight across the skyline with people coming out of offices and shops to watch.
The four skydivers were supported by Andy Montriou who was on ground crew and then picked up by Cornwall Surf Life Saving and entered the harbour to huge applause, followed by pilot Chris Fowler treating the crowds to a flyby.
The annual Paddle for Life in partnership with Newquay Towan Blystra Lions Club and Surf Life Saving Cornwall raises money from the paddler’s entry money, food stalls, drink sales at the rowing club and the prize draw raffle. The hugely successful raffle included a luxury lodge break at Landal Gwel an Mor Resort in Portreath and a signed guitar from James Morrison as some of the prizes.
There was a great musical sunset session and this year's line-up consisted of The Steelers, Blues Brothers on The Run with one of them finishing by jumping in the sea, Matthew Penhaligan, Sammy Jonas and Porky finishing off the night.
The Cornwall Air Ambulance helicopter also did a flyby at 500 feet so there was never a dull moment from start to finish.
The paddle races saw children of all abilities paddling in memory of the Newquay toddler with commentary from Dean Woods, Nick Williams and live broadcasting on Radio Newquay for the first time.
The relay was won by Newquay Surf Life Saving Club and, with lots of teams taking part, it was a fierce competition but fun race.
The RNLI race was one of the most competitive so far with Watergate taking the Joe Way Memorial Cup and Jordan Haynes-Love wining the first heat to take the big guns Trophy.
The Paddle event has a lot of local business support and great raffle prizes. The Way family would to thank the following people: Newquay Surf Life Saving, Lusty Surf Life Saving, Perran Signs, P&J Print, The Garage Co, Hutton hire, Southwest Hire, Skinners Ales, The Rowing Club, Bookers of Newquay, Truro Lions, Millstone Sound, Beach safety team, Frontline security, Purple gecko events, in safe hands, Newquay Activity Centre, Newquay Harbour Sports, Harbour Master, Coastal Crepes, Newquay fisherman, Skindog surfboards, Howdens, Start & Co, Biffa Waste, Landal Gwel an Mor, Radio Newquay, Checkered Photography, Light Colour Sound and Doug Hinge who helped and supported the event.
The following charities also supported the event: The Wave Project, Children's Hospice Southwest, Chrissies Sunshine Appeal and Cornwall Air Ambulance.
This year's event has raised £8k with final amounts coming in, this will be given to various charities in the coming weeks. This takes Joe’s total to over £160,000.00 over the last 12 years.
Matt Way said “The weather was a concern but as always it came good and the atmosphere was just fantastic, we are so humbled as a family that so many people have be inspired by Joes story even 12 years on and the event continues to grow”.
Tony Lock, owner of the Garage Co in Quintrell, bid in an online auction for a one of piece of art depicting the Paddle for Life in Newquay.
Tony won the auction with the final bid of £800 as several bidders went head to head.
The Garage Co owner has supported the paddle as a £500 sponsor for three years, businessman Tony said; “It’s a great event and I have known Claire and Matt for years, I have been looking at buying one of Doug’s paintings and this was the perfect opportunity especially as the money is going to such a great cause that is close to our hearts as a family”.
Doug Hinge is an artist based in Newquay, Cornwall who started his artistic career in the late 1970s with abstract collages, he then moved on to landscapes and seascapes in the 1980's. He continued with these, selling them through his own gallery, from 1982 for many years.
Doug has now gone on to supply several local galleries in Cornwall with his new contemporary style paintings of Cornish Harbours and places.
His new style is quite unique. Paintings with character, boats and buildings in bright cheerful colours, and seaguls with attitude.
Doug said, “These paintings have a sense of humour which should bring a smile to your face and after attending most of Joe’s paddles over the years and seeing how they have grown into this fantastic community event it was a real pleasure to capture this on canvas”.
Dougs oil painting is on ebay for the next week and you can bid on it at https://ebay.us/8RKhAf with all the money going to various charities.