Raft race makes waves in Ripon

In the drink! One of the rafts capsizes.
In the drink! One of the rafts capsizes.

The sun came out for the eighth annual Great Ripon Raft Race as people flocked to the city’s canal basin for fun on the water.

The event, organised by Scuba Diving for All to raise money for its work with people of all ages who have physical and learning difficulties, was held on Saturday with races on the water and fun and games on dry land.

Trevor White, one of the event’s organisers, said: “The weather was definitely in our favour. As we were setting up on Saturday morning it was raining hard, just as it had been all night, but at about 9am the rain stopped and we even had bright sunshine for part of the day which resulted in a picture of the event being published in the Sunday Telegraph in a feature about the bank holiday weather.

“As soon as the prizes had been presented by the Mayor of Ripon, Coun Mick Stanley, the rain returned but the event itself was rain free.”

The men’s raft race was won by the Loadhogs with their number two raft, named Yamamamamotokati, while the mixed-teams raft race first prize went to Hawaii Five-O.

The Evans family won the family prize, while the Evans Family Juniors picked up the junior prize with the fastest time of the whole day: 4m 18s.

In other awards, the best decorated raft went to the Hawaii Five-O team and the most entertaining raft prize was awarded jointly to the three Loadhogs teams who entertained the crowd in their three-way race by capsizing before leaving the start line as well as halfway down the course and again near the finish.

The In the Drink award (for the team who spend most time in the water instead of on the water) went to the aptly named Titanic.

“Also worth mentioning is the bath race between two teams of US Navy personnel who both managed to capsize their baths but in the best naval tradition carried on battling to the end,” added Mr White, who said the day was “a great success” and that money raised by the event was still being counted.

– See the Ripon Gazette, out Thursday, August 29, for more pictures from this event.