Players have only 30 minutes to play match on temporary sandbank in the Solent

Thursday 29th September 2011:
For over 50 years, the Royal Southern Yacht Club from Hamble in
Hampshire and the Island Sailing Club from Cowes on the Isle of Wight,
have challenged each other to the annual Bramble Bank cricket match in
the Solent.

This year The Brambles Cricket Match, supported by Hendrick’s Gin, was hosted by the Royal Southern and took place on Wednesday 28th September.
Low water was at 1758hrs and play between the rivals commenced.  

Under a clear blue sky, the fierce local rivals and a large contingent
of the famous ‘Barmy Navy’ converged at Brambles sandbank in expectation
of another classic encounter. Start of play was delayed due to a
waterlogged pitch, but as soon as this famous venue
appeared above the waves the players raced off their boats and
commenced a hard-fought match. Over 150 spectators (many in fancy
dress – some excellent seagull costumes) crowded the bank in soggy
bottoms, passions refusing to be dampened by the lack of
dry land upon which to stand, assisted no doubt by the speedily erected
Hendrick’s Gin bar by the sea-cow corner boundary rope. Fine weather
prevailed but when the covers were finally lifted, the playing area was
far smaller than in previous years.

What makes this
extraordinary sporting extravaganza so special (and totally batty!) is
that it takes place on a sand bank in the middle of the Solent that only
reveals itself for long enough on one day of each year,
and then only for about one and a half hours.

This year’s low spring tide made play even more difficult, with around a 30 minute window to play the match before the pitch was reclaimed by the sea. 

 Video by Christian Beasley.