Raft racers urgently needed for Lowestoft gala event

The Maiden in Distress raft race provided entertainment for a big crowd at the Lowestoft Lions' annu

The Maiden in Distress raft race provided entertainment for a big crowd at the Lowestoft Lions' annual gala day in 2013. But teams are urgently needed for this year's event. Photo: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

An urgent appeal has gone out this week, urging people to sign up for one of Lowestoft's most popular bank holiday events.

The Lowestoft Lions need teams to register for the Maiden in Distress raft race which is due to take centre stage at their annual charity gala day in Oulton Broad on Bank Holiday Monday, August 25.

However, only two teams have so far agreed to take part and if others do not come forward by Tuesday, organisers face the prospect of cancelling the event – disappointing the hundreds of people who look forward to watching the action from the banks.

The race is open to teams of four, who are required to construct their own raft using the materials and tools provided, then paddle to the rescue of a maiden in distress stuck on a pontoon in the broad.

Event organiser Michael Cook said: 'The Lions have been organising the gala day for 21 years and there has been a race every year but unfortunately, despite appeals and getting into contact with previous participants, we only have two teams – Cooks Furnishing and FW Knights.

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'We need at least four teams to make it a race and we have to let our supplier know what materials we need by Tuesday. You can't really have a proper race with just two teams.

'Hopefully people who took part in previous races will think about doing it again.

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'We don't want to lose another tradition in the town. People love watching the race, and seeing if anyone sinks!'

The 21st Oulton Broad Charity Gala Day starts at 9am and runs until dusk. It features the Steve Colley Motorcycle Stunt Show, strongman John Evans, Guitar George and his band, the Waggy Tail Dog Display Team, motor boat racing and performances by the Waveney Valley Brass Ensemble and the Oulton Broads.

There will also be donkey rides, Punch and Judy shows, a funfair and a firework display. Admission is £6 for adults and £1 for children.

To enter a team in the race, ring Mr Cook on 07748584763 or email cook@lowestoft1.demon.co.uk

Have you got a Lowestoft story? Email anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk

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