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“All aboard me hearties” – The Raft Race be forty!

Organisers for the much anticipated raft race event that takes place annually in Portrush, have announced details for this year's weekend of fun and adventure on the north coast in aid of RNLI.

The original concept for Raft Race Weekend was for it to be a way of having fun on the beach whilst raising some money for the Lifeboat - and little has changed with the committee's planning for Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th May.

As with that first Raft Race the main theme is to seek out the most unusual raft (which in 1982 was won by the 'Quinquireme of Nineveh' which was crewed with 'galley slaves, a skeleton, a shark and an albatross'!

(A Google search reveals, "Quinquireme of Nineveh is a great opening to a poem – a galley with five banks of oars travelling between Nineveh, the ancient city on the Tigris, and Ophir, a mysterious place, possibly on the African shore of the Red Sea.” Who knew!)

Further details of this fun filled weekend will follow but we can reveal the event has two main sponsors this year. The wonderful Ramore Complex are 'back on board' - no pun intended - and the committee are delighted to welcome to the team 'Exorna Kitchens and Bedrooms'.

Head Honcho of Exorna has expressed his delight and said, “We’re already enthusiasts of the event and we’re also encouraging our suppliers to become involved”.

Whilst the Raft Race proper takes place on the Saturday we can also reveal that two popular items from back in the day are being revisited with both the Waiters’ Race and a Pantomime Horse Race scheduled for the Sunday.

Make no mistake, there’s a plethora of crazy and quirky events lined up for an action packed 40th weekend of celebrations. Attempting to keep the whole thing together without the use of a safety net or a cattle prod is their irrepressible Compere Brian Moore.

“We’ve all had a few rough years so it’s great to see this iconic event back," commented Brian. "I am looking forward to a packed Portrush with all the unique fun the Raft Race Weekend brings. It’s the ideal family event and raises so much needed funding for the RNLI”.

Raft Race Committee Chairperson Trevor Abernethy has been delighted with the early response to this year’s event and said:

“We’ve been taken aback by the number of early entries and with the website now live we’re confident that the 40th celebrations are going to see a record attendance”.

To enter your raft go to:


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