Thousands set to turn out for Rye Raft Race

Raft Race Sunday
Raft Race Sunday

THOUSANDS of people are set to line the river bank on Sunday for Rye Raft Race.

The hugely popular event is the biggest charity fund raiser of the year for organisers Rye Lions.

The event sees a variety of crazy and ramshackle craft taking to the river in a bid to be first across the finishing line.

There are six different classes for rafts.

As well as the race there will be a big free family fete on the Salts, with lots of entertainment.

Conrad Freezer, of Rye Lions, said: “There has been great interest in potential raft teams this year and the Lions are hoping for a large “fleet”.

“ The accompanying Fete on the Salts is fully booked again with over 50 stalls and rides, including children’s’ go-carts, bouncy castle, barbecue, beer tent, ice-creams and live music all day.”

The stalls will give local charities a chance to promote their work.

The Fete opens at noon and the Raft Race starts at 2.30pm, with rafts assembling from 1pm.

The Raft Race starts from the A259 road bridge and goes downstream.

Many raft crews wear fancy dress and there are high spirited bombardments of flour and water.

Conrad Freezer said: “The Lions wish to remind people that entry to both the fete and the Race is free, although the Lions will be collecting with their buckets for charities, mostly local.

“As always, all money raised by the Lions goes to charity, with nothing deducted for administration.

“For safety reasons, it is requested that the public watches the Race from the East bank of the river and avoid using the fishing boat quay.

“Also, whilst welcoming a bombardment of flour and water both from crews and the public, hard objects such as fruit, vegetables and eggs must not be thrown, as these can cause serious injury.”

There will be a car park, just over the bridge over the River Rother, on New Road on the East bank of the river. This will provide all-day parking for only £3.