WANTED: More raft race teams please for Ely Aquafest, the biggest and most spectacular water event of the year

Appeal for Raft Entries to Aquafest, (l-r) Rotarian Phil Smith and Raft Race Organiser Viv Doji

Appeal for Raft Entries to Aquafest, (l-r) Rotarian Phil Smith and Raft Race Organiser Viv Doji - Credit: Archant

ORGANISERS of Ely’s Aquafest river festival have got a terrific day’s entertainment in store - and are now on the look-out for more teams to join the spectacular raft race.

Ely Aquafest 2012

Ely Aquafest 2012 - Credit: Archant

The race is always a highlight of the afternoon when the river is filled with a spectacular array of raft designs - anything from a double decker bus to a pirate ship.

Ely Aquafest

Ely Aquafest - Credit: Archant

“We want to encourage as many companies, charities and groups as possible to join in this great fun event,” said organiser Viv Doji.

Ely's Aquafest

Ely's Aquafest - Credit: Archant

“Everyone who takes part has a great time, building their creations and then taking them out on to the water to put them through their paces.

Aquafest 2011,

Aquafest 2011, - Credit: Archant

“We want to encourage groups who are thinking about joining in the fun, to make a firm commitment and get their entry form in. This is a fun race and a great crowd pleaser.”


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Aquafest takes place along the river at Ely on Sunday July 7, organised by Rotary Club of Ely and Ely’s Hereward Rotary Club.

With stalls on Lavender Green and Jubilee Gardens already fully booked, the organisers are now concentrating on making sure that the huge crowds that watch the fun and encourage teams from the bank will again witness a terrific race.

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Viv added: “There are prizes up for grabs, for both the most spectacular raft, and the fastest raft. Teams of four have to be aboard, and groups of three rafts are set off at five minute intervals, with each raft timed as it covers the course. All members of the crew have to be over 14 years-old and able to swim.

She added: “In the past the fastest rafts have often been made by the apprentices at various firms.

“We will be delighted to accept entries from teams who want to build something spectacular, and put their ingenuity to the test.

“We have entrants from all over the area, and some of the rafts are given amazing names.”

The four man crew does not have to be the people who built the raft, but all rafts have to be home made, and man powered by using oars or pedal power.

The race is free to enter, and organisers have a supply of buoyancy aids that can be borrowed.

To get an entry form and a set of rules, contact Viv on 0798 4323 695, email vclariced@hotmail.com or enter via the Aquafest website.

Viv added: “We want to encourage lots of people to get involved in this fun event. I can help with ideas for rafts if anyone needs a helping hand.”

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