Raft Race

The 2021 Brightlingsea Regatta Raft Race in aid of St Helena Hospice will take place on Saturday 10th July  from Brightlingsea Sailing Club (start time to be confirmed in early 2021). Teams of up to 8 people are invited to take part in this fun challenge to build and race their raft around a short course from Brightlingsea Sailing Club along the Promenade and back.

Details of how to enter the 2021 race will be published in early 2021.

Raft crews are also encouraged to raise sponsorship for St Helena and to encourage people to donate to this most vital service which is entirely dependent on our voluntary contributions. You can donate direct via www.sthelena.org.uk/how-you-can-help-us/donate. A printable sponsorship form will be available on request following registration.

The rules of the competition are as follows and the race entry form will be made available in early 2020:

Brightlingsea RegattA

Craft Your Raft Race 2021

Organised by Brightlingsea Sailing Club in association with BRIGHTLINGSEA REGATTA ASSOCIATION AND St Helena Hospice

Rules for Raft Construction and Race


  1. The size of the raft is completely open, so long as it is light enough to be carried, launched and recovered by its crew.
  2. The crew must not exceed 8 members, all of whom must be competent swimmers, wear life jackets or buoyancy aids and be at least 12 years of age.
  3. The raft’s buoyancy must not use marine methods or materials. A raft is a floating platform made of materials that were manufactured for purposes other than a boat.
  4. Acceptable and recommended materials are:
    barrels, drums, containers, tyre inner tubes, large pipes, planks, insulation board and polystyrene.
  5. Old oil drums or containers that have held fertilisers or toxic chemicals have to be seen to have been cleaned thoroughly.
  6. Fixings can be lashings and ties, using any of the following:
    rope, cord, wire, sticky tape, expanding foam and papier Mache.
  7. Bolts and screws must be countersunk: bolts must be cropped and any sharp edges covered with suitable protective padding.
  8. Rafts must be powered by paddles or oars made from domestic materials. No motors or sails will be permitted.
  9. All parts of the raft are to be home-made, with the exception of the paddles or oars for which, if home-made, screws and bolts will be allowed.
  10. All sharp or angled edges on the finished raft must be covered with protective padding.
  11. Each raft must display their allocated raft number in a contrasting colour on both sides of a board at least 2 feet x 2 feet able to be visible from the shore.
  12. The following will not be allowed on any raft:
    alcohol, weapons (including flour ‘bombs’).
  13. Any raft that does not comply with these rules will not be allowed to launch and the entry fee will be forfeit. The decision of the Raft Security Officer will be final.


  1. Participants take part at their own risk and no liability is accepted by Brightlingsea Sailing Club or St Helena Hospice for any loss, damage or injury however caused.
  2. Weather conditions on the day of the race will determine the length of the race course and, if necessary, whether the event has to be cancelled. The decision of the Event Safety Officer will be final. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  3. By participating in the race competitors give permission for images taken by and on behalf of the organisers to be used for promotional, reporting and display purposes.
  4. No raft or participants are allowed on the Brightlingsea Sailing Club concrete launching ramp, which is to be kept clear for emergency access only.
  5. Rafts will assemble in the raft assembly area on the beach at Brightlingsea Sailing Club from 13.00 where they will be examined for compliance with the rules above.
  6. The crew of each raft must present themselves at Registration on the day of the regatta to complete the necessary registration and disclaimer form (note consent forms must be signed by a parent/responsible adult, signed by every member of his/her crew, in exchange for a wristband for every member of the crew. This wrist band is for safety control and must be handed back to the beach masters on completion of the race.
  7. In the event that the entry numbers require that racing be run in heats, the race order will be determined by raft numbers drawn in a secret ballot before the event.
  8. Rafts are to be carried by their crews to the beach.
  9. The start will be a Les Mans style start from the beach in front of Brightlingsea Sailing Club.
  10. The Race (including any heats) will start from the beach when signalled by the Starter. Details of the starting procedure will be confirmed at Registration on site.
  11. The race route will be around a course starting at the beach, going around a turning mark to the west of Brightlingsea Sailing Club beach at a distance of approx 200 metres (depending on the weather conditions on the day), leaving the mark to port – on the left side of the raft – and then returning to the sailing club.
  12. To finish, the raft and all its crew must cross the Brightlingsea Sailing Club finish line.
  13. Once past the finish, rafts will return to the launch beach and must then be removed from the beach as quickly as possible to allow space for subsequent regatta events.
  14. If a raft cannot finish, or cannot after finishing return to the launch beach, the crew must come ashore at the nearest available point where they can then carry the raft back to the launch beach.
  15. There will be safety boats and personnel along the route able to be called in to assist in case of an emergency.
  16. No interference with other rafts will be allowed. Race marshals will report any such activity for possible disqualification of the offending raft.
  17. No flotsam, jetsam or other debris is to be left in the water or on the beaches. Each crew is responsible for the recovery of any such material that originated from their raft.
  18. All rafts and their associated equipment must be removed from the BSC site by not later than 5pm on the day of the race. A skip will be provided in Brightlingsea Sailing Club car park for the disposal of unrequited components. We encourage all participants to recycle their raft materials where ever possible.