Folly Medina River – Dinghy Polo – Rally Report

BOA Dinghy Polo Olympics Rally
13 and 14 August at The Folly, Isle of Wight

We were asked to resurrect Dinghy Polo this year.  We had played it some years ago with great success in various marinas on the Solent.  Occasionally it had got out of hand…. a lot of splashing, pushing, water pistols and on one occasion one competitor jumped out of his dinghy and swam the ball to the goal.  So this time, we had a full set of rules and some red cards in my pocket!  However, on this occasion, we hoped they would not be needed…..

We arrived on Friday 13th (an omen?) and berthed on the Folly walk ashore pontoon.  A few boats joined us and we had a very pleasant evening discussing how to run the game the following day together with Dave the Folly moorings berthing master.  The weather gods were kind to us again on Saturday and most of the boats arrived in good time for briefing and ‘kick off’ at 3 p.m.  Dave (the Folly moorings berthing master) very kindly lent us his spare dory for a referee and safety boat which meant we could free up Oceansong’s dinghy for use in the game.  There were two teams of two boats originally, one person in each boat rowing, and the other throwing and catching the ball, but this seemed to be forgotten….which led me to believe that BOA members are not team players!

The ‘teams’ assembled on the river side of the Medina and when the whistle sounded, the ball was thrown and they all went hell for leather across to the landward side, by The Folly Inn, to get the ball into the goal, which was green and in the shape of a frog!  Some very strange ways of rowing ensued.  One team member seemed to do more splashing and swimming from inside the dinghy than rowing.  No names mentioned….
We had a lot of spectators.  Some of which were the sailing boats attempting to come up the Medina to their moorings and were held up by a lot of crazed people in dinghies, getting very wet and doing a lot of shouting.  However, all went well and one of the ralliers had his son, Lennie, doing the throwing, who was very accurate and got two goals in the frog.  At one point there was a substitution as Lennie was changed for his sister Lola who also got two balls in the frog goal.  There was a clear winning dinghy. Of course, the youngsters won the day!

The pontoon party at 6 p.m. included the BOA Olympic style medal ceremony and we erected a podium where Lennie, Lola and their Dad Steve, were presented with their gold (chocolate) medals to a lot of cheering and clapping. The two children also got a box of Cadbury’s Heroes each which they very kindly shared.  No-one wants a silver medal do they? So the other competitors were presented with a chocolate orange each!
Dinner was booked at the Folly Inn so we had a lovely meal that evening together with live music (but no table dancing).  Part of the moorings deal was a full English breakfast the following morning for the princely sum of £4. Very good it was too.

With very full tummies we all set off home having enjoyed a really fun sociable weekend.  More dinghy polo next year perhaps?

Also, Lymington Town Quay for the another rally this year. Watch this space……