Whole raft of ways to take part in race
AN award-winning East Cheshire sailing club is rapidly earning itself another title – UK raft race expert.
Having organised raft races for the last 17 years, the members of Redesmere Sailing Club near Siddington certainly know all the tricks of the trade on how to make a good, home-built raft.
Raising money for East Cheshire Hospice, their 18th race on Saturday, June 11 is no exception and a design handout featuring both the RedesmereOne Design and the Go Faster design has been developed to pass on some of the top tips.
“We’ve seen all shapes and sizes of rafts taking part over the years,” said club social committee member, Robert Eastcott.
“Apart from a few simple rules to ensure a measure of parity in the performance of rafts, teams are free to design and build their own rafts and so we’ve had everything from a submarine, which did not sink, to a First World War vintage plane, which did not fly.” Taking place on the 25-acre Redesmere Lake set in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, the annual event is for teams of up to six paddlers on home-built rafts all competing for the Redesmere Raft Trophy and the club is hoping for a record turn-out this year of up to 20 teams.
There are prizes for the most innovative design, the ‘best-dressed’ team and for the team which puts up the most ‘unorthodox’ performance – if there’s a suitable candidate.
There is also a prize for the first junior team (all under-17).
For teams who do not want to build their own rafts, club members have put their expertise to the test and have built a number of basic rafts for use on a shared basis and scratch teams can also be formed on the day for anyone without a team or to make up the numbers in a team.
The club, which was recently recognised by the Royal Yacht Association as the RYA Club of the Year, has raised almost £10,000 for East Cheshire Hospice by running the annual raft races.
Goodhind, community fundraiser at East Cheshire Hospice, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Redesmere Sailing Club for their continuous support.
“The money they have raised for East Cheshire Hospice over the years by holding their raft race is just amazing.
“As a local charity, we rely on donations and fundraising to pay for over 80 per cent of our costs, so all the money the club raises will make a real difference to our patients and their families.”
Other activities planned for the afternoon include stalls, games and raffles with hot and cold snacks and locally brewed beers available all afternoon.
Gates open at 12.30pm with heats for the races beginning at 2.30pm and the final scheduled for around 5pm.
Further details, including the raft race design pack, are available at RaftRace@redesmere. org.uk.
●● Teams competing in the Redesmere annual raft race