Raft race will make a bigger splash than ever

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RYE is getting set for what promises to be its biggest and best Raft Race ever.

Two additional classes have been added to this year’s event which sees teams taking to the water in a variety of crazy contraptions, in the hope of staying afloat.

The event, now in its 33rd year, is organised by Rye and District Lions Club.

The Race takes place on Sunday July 17, with the Race itself starting at 1.15pm and rafts assembling from noon.

The course will be the same as last year consisting of three laps on the Rother downstream from the A259, New Road bridge.

Rye Lions president Conrad Freezer said; “The Lions are often asked why the Race is not on the same Sunday each year.

“The Race has to be timed to take place on a Sunday, during the summer, when the tide is just turning at high tide around the middle of the day, hence time and tide waits for no man! Otherwise crews might make a landfall at Calais.”

“Enquiries for raft race entry packs are coming in from various companies and organisations.

“Entries are welcome from any school, college, company, pub or organisation.

“Two additional classes are being introduced this year to ensure that rafts ranging from a few beer barrels strapped together manned by possibly four crew members stand as much chance of winning a class as the large multiple crewed teams. Entry packs for the Race can be obtained by ringing Bob Harvey on 0845 244 9449.

“The fete on The Salts will start at noon and will have all the usual attractions, such as a barbeque, beer tent, ice-creams, live music, children’s go-karts and rides and many other stalls and side-shows. There is still space for a few more stalls and any charity, organisation or commercial concern should contact Reg Emson on 01797 224174 to reserve space.

“There will be ample parking on the Lions car park, just over the bridge on the A259, New Road for £2 for all day, which includes a copy of the £1 programme. The programme is being finalised and will be on sale in local shops and pubs shortly.”