Second annual Rhyl RNLI harbour raft race hailed a resounding success!

Lifeboats News Release

The weather holds for some exciting races and fun in front of a very large crowd. And a lifeboat callout at the end of the event.

This year's annual Rhyl RNLI harbour raft race has been applauded by the holidaymakers and townsfolk of Rhyl in North Wales as a great spectacle and a very successful community major event in the calendar.
The day started overcast, but the forecast rain decided to stop before the races began, and ensured that many hundreds of spectators were treated to thrills and spills (and a bit of cheating!).

Before the racing began, the crowd was entertained with a spectacular display of jetski acrobatics by Dan Rowan of DJR Jetski displays, and throughout the day, a rib ride kindly undertaken by Richie Williams of Seawake rib rides of Anglesey, took visitors and locals alike around the harbour and river entrance, with all profits going to the RNLI.

The races consisted of two heats of up to ten rafts, either custom- or home-made, and the best of the two heats went forward to the final. Rhyl RNLI lifeboat team managed to make the final, but were then disqualified after the last race, as it was discovered they had secreted a small electric outboard motor on to their raft! (This was all pre-planned and added to the fun of the day, and to give other rafters a chance to win more prizes).

 As well as water-borne  attractions, there were various stalls including the popular Festival Seafoods caravan (with long queues); various side stalls; the RNLI fundraisers from Rhyl and also RNLI face-to-face volunteers. Also present were a team from SUSTRANS Cymru, helping at the local harbour bike hub. The Harbour hub cafe also did a roaring trade, as well as the nearby Sunnyvale camp restaurant and bar.

The overall winners were Hearts FC with their "Mobile pitch" raft, and the prize for best fancy dress went to Fins Swim School. The "John Povah cup" was presented to the winners by Pam, John's widow. It is only a month since John passed away, and was a poignant reminder of a truly great harbour character that was John.

The attached pictures are credit Paul Frost MBE, but many more can be found on facebook and twitter regarding the race, including some brilliant videos of the acrobatic jetski display.

The crowds were just leaving when Rhyl lifeboat had a report from Holyhead Coastguard that a man had entered the sea off Towyn to try to retrieve his dog. Both of the lifeboats proceeded at full speed to the area together with rhyl coastguard team, and were relieved to hear the man had safely recovered himslf and his dog just before the rescue units arrived. The lifeboats therefore returned to their station.

All-in-all, a very good day was had by everyone, and we are all certainly looking forward to next year's event, the date of which is already settled and planning started.

Coxswain Martin Jones says "This community event goes from strength to strength each year. I would like to thank crew member David Clark and the rest of the crew for all their hard work"

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.