WHAT a difference a year makes. This time last year rowers were seeking shelter along the Hamble ahead of the annual River Raid contest, but 12 months later, hundreds of people basked in sunshine to watch the tenth Hamble River Raid.

Rowers young and old competed in 32 boats, an increase on previous years.

Crowds on the shoreline at Hamble Quay enjoyed balmy temperatures and ice-creams as they waited for the crews, which were set off at intervals, to return.

Teams had to row from there to the Jolly Sailor pub at Burlsedon and back then ring the bell to record their time.

In first place in the mega gigs was Shiplake Outloars, a jolly boat led by Guy Fisher, while the winner of the Bursledon gigs was Elephant Racing.

The day also saw the naming ceremony for a Cornish pilot gig called Mercury, which is owned by Hamble Sea Scouts, and is believed to be the first such vessel on Southampton Water.

Organiser Andy Cunningham said: “It’s fantastic. The event is bigger and better than ever.”