Entries open for 35th annual Portrush Raft Race

Genevieve Dawes, Willie Gregg, Colin Kidd and Niall Clarke. � Stephen Lockhart
Genevieve Dawes, Willie Gregg, Colin Kidd and Niall Clarke. � Stephen Lockhart

Portrush Raft Race will take place on Saturday, 28th May 2016 at the Harbour in Portrush, as part of a jam-packed bank holiday weekend of harbour-side family mayhem and fun.

Portrush Raft Race and Ramore Restaurants will each be celebrating their 35th birthdays in the coming year, and are both are well loved fixtures of the popular County Antrim town.

Chair of the Raft Race committee, Richard Connor, said, “This is a very exciting year for the Raft Race. To be partnering with the Ramore, our neighbour here in the Harbour is a natural fit. The committee are working hard to make the Raft Race Weekend a fun-filled and safe event for the whole family”

He continued, “when you consider each rescue launch of our lifeboat costs £6,000, entirely funded by donations, this craic-filled weekend makes it possible to provide the entire North Coast with a year-round invaluable rescue service”.

Presenting a sponsorship cheque for £3,000 (fittingly the exact same total that was raised by the inaugural race back in the 1980’s) a spokesperson for the Ramore said: “We are happy and excited to come on board as main sponsor for one of the largest free charity events held annually in NI.

“It is of course one of our favourite weekends of the year, with the true spirit of hospitality, fun and friendship drawing locals and visitors from far and wide to Portrush.”

As well as being enormous fun on the beautiful north coast, it’s an important annual event for the RNLI and the town of Portrush. All the funds raised by Portrush Raft Race go directly to the local branch.

In 2015, 274 brave souls, a mix friends, families and corporate teams, competing on over 50 rafts raising money for the local RNLI Lifeboat Station.

As is now traditional the day’s events will be compered by Alan Simpson in his own inimitable style. Alan enthused: “So folks, wherever you are coming from we promise a great family weekend in Northern Ireland’s premier seaside town. Expect fun, food and friendship with an extra-large portion of Portmagic”.

If you’re thinking of entering, but don’t have the skills to build your own raft there are some available for hire in return for a small donation to RNLI.

Entries are now open to teams and application forms can be obtained from portrushraftrace@gmail.com Entries stay open until 2pm on race day.

Full entry guidelines are available at www.portrushraftrace.co.uk