Hoylake RNLI and Hoylake Sailing Club will go head to head on Boxing Day 2023 as the annual Slater Trophy Tug O’War returns.
The event is free to watch and the perfect way to walk off Christmas lunch, followed by refreshments at Hoylake Sailing Club. It takes place at 12 midday on Tuesday, 26 December, outside Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station on North Parade.
The friendly competition was established in 1972 by Arthur Slater of Hoylake Sailing Club and Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Danny Triggs. It is now a firm festive fixture in the local community calendar, celebrating its 50th anniversary last year.
Hundreds of spectators now gather each year to watch the two teams battle it out for the coveted Slater Trophy (pictured): a small teapot that bears the name of the winning team stretching back to the start of the competition.
The humble trophy started life in the boardroom of Cammell Laird shipbuilders in the 1960s when the Polaris programme’s Resolution-class submarines were under construction in Birkenhead. The teapot was thrown out, dented and dull, into a McDermott’s sprout box and found its way to Hoylake.
After the inaugural Tug O’War tournament in 1972, the teapot was discovered, polished and engraved with the name of the first winning team – the ‘Lifeboat’. So began over five decades of local competition, normally celebrated afterwards with a toast to the participants in the Sailing Club.
Donations to support the lifesaving work of the RNLI’s volunteer crews will be welcomed from visitors at any of the donation points. The charity celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2024 and is raising funds this Christmas to ensure future generations of lifesavers can continue the RNLI’s mission to save everyone.
On average, RNLI lifeboats launch over 100 times during the Christmas period every year. Whatever weather winter throws at them, RNLI crews are ready to battle the elements to save lives at sea. These rescues, and others all year round, are only made possible by the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews.
To make a donation online to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal and help the charity to continue its lifesaving work, visit: RNLI.org/WinterAppeal
Image: RNLI/Victoria Phipps