The Brambles Sea Cricket Match Winners on 31st August 2008 will be the Island Sailing Club, how can the outcome be predicted a month in advance? Read on…
Unlike Brigadoon the Scottish village that appeared for one day every hundred years, a sandbank (Brambles) rises from the water near Cowes on the Isle of Wight and appears in the summer every year.
For a brief spell members of the sailing fraternity race out to the Brambles and play cricket, before the tide rushes back in 1hour later.
The fixture was first started in the 1950′s by the late Uffa Fox, a sailing companion of the Duke of Edinburgh, the Royal Southern and the Island Sailing Club compete every year.
As soon as the sandbank appears the stumps are put up and the match gets under way. Many of the competitors dress all in cricket whites and ‘The Bramble Inn’ is erected to serve drinks to spectators.
The Bramble Inn is one of the most bizarre pubs in England: it is in the middle of the sea and exists only for about an hour each year.
An interesting reference to this is found in Hansard, during a debate on the Licensing Bill in 2003. Island MP, Andrew Turner, while discussing the problems of licensing an event which falls between two authorities, in a light-hearted way cites the example of the Bramble Bank cricket match.
The match looks to any passing boats like some surreal mirage – cricketers standing on water in the middle of The Solent.
The game only lasts as long as the bank lasts (about an hour) at which the sea returns to swamp the pitch. The players retreat to their boats and head back to the Isle of Wight for a celebratory dinner.
Who wins? Well, the teams seem to take it in turns – afterall winning the game or losing it just doesn’t seem important. All that matters is having a good time.
However, the teams actually take it in turns to win and this year the winners will be the Island Sailing Club who will receive a trophy and dinner after the game.
The match takes place on Sunday 31st August 2008 – Low Water at 1706 If you wish to row or sail out to see the match check with one of the clubs as to what date and time it is due to take place as it depends on tide and wind.
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