Offer from landowner
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.