THE WELLS Moat Boat Race returned for the second time since the pandemic this bank holiday Monday (August 28).

Several winners were crowned over a host of different categories and races which saw hundreds of spectators flock to the moat around the Bishop's Palace.

Organised by the City of Wells Lions Club, the free event was supported by many other local groups.

These included Wells ATC, Bristol Corinthians Sailing Club, St John's Ambulance, other Lions clubs from the area, Wells Rotary, and Wells Community Network.

A spokesperson for the event said: "The Lions thank all who contributed in any way, including the much valued spectators!"

The moat race has been an annual tradition since 1963, when the then Bishop of Bath and Wells, Edward Henderson, competed in a rowing boat.

This year, Bishop Michael Beasley competed in the Bishop's Palace team's raft.

Teams who entered into the event completed in a sprint race, backwards race, longer challenge race, and an obstacle race.

As usual, the race hosted competitions for both junior and senior competitors. 

Five junior teams competed in the moat race: 1955 City of Wells Squadron Air Cadets, Glastonbury and Street Sea Cadets, St John's Cadet First Aiders, 2381 Ilminster Squadron Air Cadets, and 2019 Sidmouth Squadron Air Cadets.

Wells ATC took home first place honours in three of the four junior races, winning the sprint race, backwards race, and obstacle race. 

St John's Juniors managed to grab the victory over Wells ATC in the longer challenge race.

The best fancy dress award, judged by Bishop of Bath and Wells Michael Beasley, and City of Wells Mayor Tanys Pullin, was awarded to City of Wells cadets for their 'Jurassic raft'.

Several senior teams competed in the races, these included: The Likely Lads, Wells Magic, Sarah’s Preservation Society, 2381 Ilminster Squadron Air Cadets, 2019 Sidmouth Squadron Air Cadets, St John's Ambulance, The Palace Princesses, and the Somerset Swifts.

The Likely Lads were victors in the Bishop's Cup and obstacle races, with NWA Greater Good (St John's Ambulance seniors) grabbing the gold in the Lions Cup. 

The Community Challenge race was won by Sidmouth ATC.

An honourable mention goes to the Wells Magic team, who claimed the bittersweet 'Wettest Team' award.