RAFTS of all shapes and sizes were vying to be first across the finish line at the weekend.
Despite the inclement weather, more than 60 teams took to the River Avon for the annual Wellesbourne and Shakespeare Lions clubs’ raft race on Sunday (July 26).
The race – between Wasperton and Stratford – saw teams take on a seven mile course including two weirs along the river.
And although one didn’t quite make it to the finish with its team forced to abandon ship around Alveston, an impressive 62 rafts managed to complete the course.
There were many crashes, bashes and splashes along the way before the first team emerged victorious in a time of one hour 13 minutes – just six minutes off the course record.
The event, which has been held for the past 39 years, has helped raised close to £750,000 for a number of different charities.
And this year was no different with organisers hoping to collect some £10,000 towards the The Shakespeare Hospice.
The Shottery-based hospice helps patients, their carers and families in south Warwickshire through its Day Hospice, the 24/7 Hospice at Home Service and the Family Support Service, which includes services for young people.
Race manager and Lion, Peter Fisher said: “Wellesbourne and Shakespeare Lions thought the quality of design and artistic invention of the rafts was outstanding this year and the rafters deserve much credit for their efforts.
“The Shakespeare Hospice was very surprised at the size and scale of the event and we are all hopeful of reaching if not exeeding the sponsorship target of £10,000.
“A huge thanks must go to everyone who took part and all those that helped on the day – your support is much appreciated.”
Visit wwwraftrace.org.uk for further details.