Annual Raft Race raises over £5000 for Calshot RNLI
On Sunday 22 August 2021 The Great Waterside Raft Race took place at Hythe Marina attracting a bumper crowd.
Now in its 33rd year, the event has become a firm favourite in the local community and it felt extra special this year with the 2020 event, in Calshot RNLI’s 50th anniversary year, cancelled due to Covid.
11 rafts, of all shapes and sizes took part in the race calendar, which included the Pub Race, the Ladies Race, the Junior Race and the Handicap Race.
One of the more unusually designed crafts Fish & Ships was made from cardboard and despite the skepticism surrounding their design, they managed to win the Decorated Race and secure the prize for the Most Ingenious Design.
The Calshot crew WAG’s (Wives and Girlfriends) took part in their craft, entitled The Wifeboat and took a creditable 2nd place in the Handicap Race as well as winning the Best Presented Trophy. In their first race they were given a helping hand by the RNLI’s very own Stormy Stan!
The volunteer crew at Calshot RNLI were on hand to provide safety support with both Atlantic 85 B Class Lifeboat Max Walls and D Class Lifeboat Willett on the water throughout the day. An additional crew member was positioned on the slipway to assist participants with launch and recovery of their rafts.
Prizes were awarded by the BBC’s Dan Snow and local MP Dr Julian Lewis also lent his support to the event and sportingly insisted on a redraw when his ticket was pulled out in the raffle!
At the time of writing the event had raised just under £5000 for Calshot RNLI, with the raft sponsorships still to be finalized, it is expected that this figure will be surpassed.
Lifeboat Press Officer - Danni Strawford-Jones
Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer - Justyn Leonard
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.