Rye Raft Race

Back after year break

Rye Raft Race is back. It will take place on Sunday 15 August. The start and finish will be at different places on the river than last time to avoid the problem of louts throwing eggs from Monkbretton Bridge onto the participants. The event was not held in 2003 but the Rye Lions have brought it back this year using the original course that was used when the event was inaugurated seventeen years ago. Rafts are built and entered by groups, companies, clubs and other organisations and crewed by teams of four or more. Lifejackets are required as many of the rafts from previous years have broken up under racing conditions, throwing their hapless crew members into the Rother.14

From a drawing by Connie Lindqvist

The race will be launched and commence from the Strand Quay, and sail down river to Rye Harbour, finishing close to the William the Conqueror Public House. It will be a 12.00 noon start. There are many spots along the two mile route to watch the event. The start at The Strand will be quite exciting as the river is not too wide here and the teams will be jockeying for position, and there might well be some skulduggery among crews as the starter sets the race in progress.

Rye and District Lions Club, who organise the race, belong to an international organisation of Lion Clubs, the largest organisation in the world, represented in 185 countries, with a membership exceeding 1.5 million. Each Club is autonomous but works within International guidelines.

The Lions motto is ‘We Serve’ and Lions believe that as citizens, working together can initiate and carry out programmes that will make their community a better place to live. Socially there are events such as pub dinners, theatre visits, quiz evenings and so on.

The Lions Club of Rye has served the local community for over 24 years, helping those with special needs. They now wish to increase their membership to enable the Rye club to continue and extend this rewarding community service.

To find out more please contact Neale East on 01797 225632 ( [email protected] ) or Barry Hope ( [email protected] ) on 01797 280481.

From Rye’s Own August 2004

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