Bromyard‘s second-ever Hop Festival was pronounced a ‘sparkling success’ by organisers.
An estimated 3000 spectators lined the town’s Broad St and High St for the climax of the day, the Hop Pocket Race invented last year specially for the first Hop Festival. A total of twenty teams of runners carrying a full ‘hop pocket’ (the huge sack used to store dried hops) set off from the Market Square and ran the length of the town before doubling back.
Winners of the 2012 Hop Pocket Word Championship race were the team ‘Awesome’, made up of two pairs of brothers: Ashley and Andrew Davis, and William and Lewis Jacobsen. ‘It was a last-minute decision to enter’, said Andrew Davis, ‘but I’m glad we did. We had no special training, but we’re all pretty fit, so we just went for it’. ‘Awesome’ ran the course in 2 minutes 41 seconds, narrowly beating a team of Halo Leisure fitness instructors who made 2 minutes 47. The Butty Bach Boys, a team from Wye Valley Brewery came in third place.
The new Ladies World Champion team is Luscious Ladies, who are Philippa Jones, Sally Bullock, Carla Chamberlain and Steph Bagley. The girls returned a time of 4m 11s. “The women’s hop pocket weights 50 kg as against the men’s one at 70kg, so we’re very pleased with that time”, said Steph Bagley, “and very proud to have taken over the title of Ladies’ World Champions. Proud, but exhausted!”
Chris Barltrop, one of the organisers of the Bromyard Hop Festival said ‘the Hop Festival Committee are hugely grateful to Wye Valley Brewery for their whole-hearted support in so generously being one of our two major sponsors’.
The two winning teams met up at Wye Valley Brewery to collect their prize boxes of beer.