Beach fruit flinging event planned

Annual orange and lemon flinging event on Worthing beach
Annual orange and lemon flinging event on Worthing beach

WORTHING’S annual orange and lemon flingathon will take place on Sunday, March 4.

The quirky fruit-throwing festival, now in its 10th year, commemorates the sinking of the SS Indiana in 1901.

Proceeds from the event, on the beach opposite Thorn Road and the Beach Hotel, will go to Lauren Jones, 16, who hopes to represent Great Britain in tennis at the London Paralympics.

Lauren, from Offington, who attends Worthing College, was left paralysed from the waist down after falling from a tree nearly three years ago.

Every year, hundreds of people turn up for the flingathon, organised by Worthing journalist Paul Holden.

The event is once again being sponsored by Waitrose, of High Street, Worthing.

It costs £1 a throw, although you can donate more if you wish.

The SS Indiana ran aground off Worthing after colliding with another vessel.

Its cargo, tens of thousands of oranges and lemons, cascaded from a gaping hole in its hull and was washed up on Worthing beach.

Residents descended in droves to collect the fruit – a rare and valuable commodity in the early 20th century.

The first orange will be smacked towards the sea with a cricket bat wielded by Worthing mayor Ann Barlow.

The bat was introduced in 2008 to commemorate the Ice Prince wood wreck, which left Worthing beach coverered in mounds of timber.

The flingathon starts at 2.15pm, but please get there at 1.45pm if you can.

Mr Holden said: “The event will take place no matter how bad the weather is.

“We’ve held it in driving rain and thick fog before, but hordes of flingers still turn up. It is especially popular with families and young children who don’t care if it’s raining or blowing a gale. They just love being on the beach, taking part in an event they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

For further information, ring 01903 245674 or email paul.holden2010@hotmail.co.uk