Of­fer from landowner

Evening Express (Extra Edition) - - NEWS - By Mark Davies

A NORTH-EAST es­tate owner has of­fered to help re-launch one of the coun­try’s largest raft races.

El­lon’s Ythan Raft Race raised more than £250,000 for 40 lo­cal char­i­ties and at its height boasted more than 250 rafts and 1,600 com­peti­tors.

But the mam­moth event sank in 2000 be­cause of spi­ralling costs and a lack of younger sup­port.

As pre­vi­ously re­ported in the Evening Ex­press, a cam­paign has started for the re­birth of the once pop­u­lar fix­ture on the El­lon so­cial calendar.

And now Charles Buchan, who owns Auch­ma­coy House, said he is in­ter­ested in help­ing fund the re­in­state­ment of the race.

He said: “I am will­ing to help put up the funds to get the race go­ing again, and pay for de­cent prizes and cups, and do any­thing else which will help to get it go­ing again.

“I didn’t ac­tu­ally re­alise any­one else felt like me about the race un­til I read the ar­ti­cle about the cam­paign to bring it back.

“I would be happy to meet up with any­one who is in­ter­ested in bring­ing the race back and work­ing to­gether to make it hap­pen.”

Mr Buchan said he would be pre­pared to let peo­ple use of­fices on his es­tate to help co-or­di­nate the bid to re­in­state the event.

Aspokeswoman for Bring Back El­lon Raft Race said they were thrilled with Mr Buchan’s of­fer and would be look­ing to set up a meet­ing with him as soon as pos­si­ble. Dur­ing its time, the Ythan Raft Race was the largest as­sem­bled raft race in Europe.

The an­nual event – the brain­child of re­tired El­lon art teacher Bill Smith – ran with­out a break for 22 years. Its ap­prox­i­mate five-mile route ran from the bridge in the cen­tre of El­lon to the bridge at Lo­gie Buchan.

The fastest race time was 25 min­utes and the most peo­ple on a raft was 50.

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