Raft race cancelled after club pulls out

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A river race that has raised thousands of pounds for charity will not take place this year after a Rotary Club withdrew its support.

The Rotary Club of The Deepings confirmed on Tuesday that it was pulling out of the Deepings Raft Race.

The club stepped in to take over organisation of the race in 2011 after the previous committee stood down.

But after a poor showing last year, where only £500 was raised, the club decided that it could not afford to run this year’s race.

In a letter, club president Bob Godding said: “The problems that we encountered this past year were bad weather, a lower than expected public turn out, low raft entries and unreliable sponsorship.

“We as a charitable organisation cannot afford to run functions at a loss.

“Our charities would suffer and our Rotary members are unable to sustain any great losses that would be incurred personally to themselves.

“We the Rotary Club of The Deepings would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that have helped in the past organisation of this event, sponsors, those who constructed rafts and took part in the races, helpers that have been involved with the raft race, and members of the public that have attended and supported the event.

“A special thanks to the former members of the raft race committee, with out whose help the past races would have not have happened.”

Uncertainty has surrounded the race before and it was cancelled in 2008 due to complaints about noise, traffic disruption and management concerns.

It returned in 2009 after a campaign and online petition. In 2011 several thousand pounds were donated to Stamford-based Anna’s Hope, which helps children diagnosed with brain tumours and raises money for research.

Raft race committee chairman Kevin Barber said he was hopeful a smaller event could be organised.