Sun and splashes for Deeping Raft Race

Crowds of people gathered for an afternoon of splashing in the sun at the annual Deepings Raft Race.

Monday, 8th August 2016, 11:35 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:03 pm
Deepings Raft Race 2016. Action from races EMN-160708-155324009

Themed around the movies, the event proved popular with visitors and participants alike with 41 rafts taking part across the different events - youth race, main race, fun race, ladies race and pub race.

The races began at the footbridge on Bridge Street, Deeping St James, and headed up stream towards the locks - and all along the route, the banks were packed with cheering whooping spectators.

And the crowd were encouraged to get involved by casting their vote for the best dressed raft which was a tie between the teams Thunderbirds Are Go and Great Scott! We’ve Made a Raft Time Machine - inspired by the DeLorean car from Back to the Future. In the end Thunderbirds were victiorious and took home the trophy after receiving the loudest cheer.

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Andy Pelling, from the raft race committee, said it was an excellent day, no doubt helped by the sun which shone for the whole day.

He said: “It was absolutely fantastic and we had a really big crowd. The raft races were very successful and it was great to see all the teams taking the theme to heart with lots of different characters.

“The weather certainly helped make it into a lovely day.”

The number of rafts was slightly up on last year’s event with 35 taking to the water in 2015 compared to 41 in 2016 but Andy believes the crowd was bigger this year.

As well as the raft races to enjoy, there was also a host of stalls and tasty treats to tuck into, including an unusual pizza oven made from a Fiat 500 and a double decker beer bus where you could watch the races from the comfort of the top deck while enjoying a cooling drink from the bottom deck!

The Harmony Majorettes team from Peterborough put on a great display while there was also classic cars to enjoy.

The organisers are still in the proceeds of counting how much money has been raised for its nominated charities The Deepings Community Centre and MECP2 Duplication UK, which helps youngsters born with a gene disorder.

But soon, they’ll be turning their attentions to next year’s event.

And Andy has a top tip for anyone planning to enter.

“People have these great ideas and they design them but then they don’t test them to see if they will float and there’s always quite a lot that are top heavy! The poor team from Andy’s Toy Box capsized about five or six times before they eventually gave up and a lot of people fell off and got very wet. But that’s why it’s so entertaining!”

Winning teams

Youth Race: The Deepings Dragons (11:02)

Main Race: Interlink Express Titanic (12:13)

Fun Race: Pkai Hairy Floater (21:38)

Ladies Race: Beauty School Drop Outs (18:06)

Pub Race: The Deeping Stage (11:20)

Best Dressed Raft: Thunderbirds Are Go