Chester raft race returns

Scroll down to content
the 45th Chester raft race this Sunday

After an enforced two-year break, one of the most anticipated events in the Chester calendar will be returning to the Dee this Sunday. The Chester Raft Race will this year be raising money for the Countess of Chester Hospital Blue Skies Balcony Appeal.

Starting on the Meadows and with the finish line on the Groves, teams bring their homemade, often spectacularly designed, rafts to the Dee and race against the clock. The course runs from just upriver of the Royal Chester Rowing Club, passes under the Suspension Bridge to a finish just above the weir.

Until the pandemic Chester Raft Race had been held every summer for decades, run by the Rotary Club of Chester and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity. The Rotary Club have brought in Chester Round Table to help make sure that the event can continue to run in future, and the generous support of local businesses including the main sponsor, Salt Town Contractors, has enabled the event to run for 2022.

Robert Jones, immediate past chair of Round Table said “Round Table has previously assisted the event in 2019 and we were saddened to see it postponed in 2020 & 2021. We are extremely grateful the assistance that the Rotary club of Chester has provided us and continue to provide for this Prestigious Charity Event. I cannot wait to see what designs have been made for our 100 years of British Television theme.”

Owen Thomas, chair of Chester Round Table agreed that it was really important to keep the event running after Covid, saying that “we are so pleased that Rotary asked us to get involved with running the raft race. It’s such a brilliant event and as a group we were keen to make sure that it continues in future. Of course, it relies on the amazing support we get from the community and from our volunteers, so if you have some time available and want to get involved in running a great event and raising some money for local charities, please get in touch!”

There will be loads going on throughout the day, including a music, race commentary and food stalls on the Groves, and family entertainment, food and drink, and hospitality on the Meadows. There’s no cost for spectators to come down and enjoy the event on the day although we do kindly ask for a donation, either from the Meadows or the Groves, so it’s a great event for all the family. The event starts from 10am with the first raft scheduled to set off at 10.30am, and the race is expected to finish by 12:30pm with the Trophy presentation following at the Meadows.

Limited car parking is available on the Meadows, accessed through Lower Park Rd, Queens Park where food and drink will be available together with Face Painting, Coconut Shy, Splat the Rat, Children’s Roundabout and inflatable Slide, as well as the Harkers licensed “Bar on the Meadows” which will be open for drinks through into the afternoon. There’s still time to get a last-minute entry in at, where you can also find more information about the event for spectators.

Bar on the meadows
 Chester Round Table and Rotary competing in the 2019 event which they joint hosted. Chester Round Table are new organisers to the this year’s race assisted by Rotary. pic EAY Digital
%d bloggers like this: