Raft race at Melksham Food & River Festival

Fit fundraisers are invited to compete in one of the highlights of this year’s Melksham Food & River Festival.

The annual raft race is due to take place on Saturday September 1st from 12noon.

Teams compete along a kilometre of the River Avon, starting and finishing next to the Adventure Centre in King George V Park.

The first prize in both the junior and senior categories is £100 provided by sponsors Foxhangers Boat Building of Devizes.

Entry forms need to be submitted by July 31st.

The raft race is being supported by the Melksham, Calne & Chippenham branch of the Canal Trust, which is working to restore the former waterway through the town.

Trust volunteer and event organiser Paul Lenearts said: “We are sincerely grateful to Foxhangers Boat Building for their very generous support.

“The raft race is always fun and a great spectacle, as well as encouraging lots of friendly competition among local groups, but we hope the opportunity to win £100 will inspire even more people to take part.”

The junior category is for young people aged 14 to 17 years old on September 1st, while the senior category is for those aged 18 and over. The entry fee is just £5 per crew member, with a maximum crew of six including a nominated captain.

The maximum dimensions for each raft are four metres long by two metres wide, no part of a boat or canoe hull can be used in the construction, and crew may only propel their raft by paddles or oars.

Participants can also use the occasion to seek sponsorship money for the Canal Trust or their own chosen charity.

Paul added: “For the past two years the event has been won by crews from Chippenham Young Farmers, but there must be plenty of other local groups who are willing to challenge their dominance and win the cash prize.

“It’s a great way to have lots of fun while raising money for local good causes.”

For further details, rules and entry forms, visit http://www.melkshamfoodandriverfestival.co.uk/raft-race

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust will also be running tripboats on both days of the festival, from 10am-4pm, as well as displaying information about the local restoration campaign.

For further information on the charity, visit http://www.wbct.org.uk

The Melksham Food & River Festival is free and takes place throughout Saturday and Sunday, September 1st and 2nd.

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