Team 'HMS Bonkers' from Ballymena, who won Fastest Raft in the 2023 event.
The public have reacted with disappointment after organisers confirmed the Portrush Raft Race will not take place in 2024.
In a surprise announcement today, Tuesday 6th February, organisers said it was with "deep regret" that the much-anticipated annual event would not take place. Although. No specific reason was provided for the cancellation, but organisers added it was "due to circumstances" out of their control.
In 2023, the Portrush Raft Race in the North Antrim coastal town attracted record numbers from near and far and was hailed a great success as the event celebrated its 40th Anniversary. Local team, 'HMS Bonkers' from Ballymena, won Fastest Raft.
On the 7th November 2023, organisers said they were "proud to officially launch the build up to the 2024 Raft Race in the RNLI's 200th year", and went on to announce two corporate sponsors.
Two crew members of HMS Bonkers in 2023.
In today's announcement Raft Race organisers said:
"It is with deep regret that we must announce that the Portrush Raft Race will not take place in 2024.
"Due to circumstances out of our hands we unfortunately cannot run the event this year.
"From all the team we want to thank our Sponsors, Donors and Supporters as the Raft Race couldn’t have been a success without them."
The statement added:
"But don’t worry this is not the end. We are already making progress to run the Portrush Raft Race in 2025."