Rain did not stop play at Hilgay Raft Race

Hilgay Raft Races 2014 ANL-140713-192029009

Hilgay Raft Races 2014 ANL-140713-192029009

Torrential rain storms did not stop the charging and barging down the river during the weekend’s Hilgay Raft Race.

A total of 14 teams battled it out on the River Wissey on Sunday while flour bombs were thrown by spectators on the bank.

An estimated 800 to 900 people were not deterred by the rain showers to support the event to raise money for the Stroke Association.

For the first time, a women’s team won the race. Dipsy Daiseys, a team of teenage girls, beat off their male counterparts.

The fancy dress title was won by The Water Babes.

The raft race is organised by butcher Ali Dent and the Rotary Club of Downham.

Mr Dent said: “We had three or four torrential downpours during the afternoon. We had to call in some large tractors as 4x4s were getting stuck in the field.

“It was amazing everyone stayed and sheltered under umbrellas or went back to their cars during the showers.

They showed some real British spirit by carrying on regardless.”

During the afternoon Mr Dent was presented with the highest honour a Rotary Club can bestow, the Paul Harris Fellowship Award.

The club’s Stuart Dimmock said: “We put Ali’s name forward to the UK National Rotary because of the work he has undertaken to raise money for national charities and his support for purely local events.

“For example, Hilgay Raft Race ceased to run for a number of years but Ali, with Rotary’s sponsorship got it going again.

“This year’s beneficiary of the raft race was the Stroke Association.

“Ali is also the moving force behind Hilgay’s Annual Book fair and many other local events in Hilgay and surrounding villages.

“His activities have raised many thousands of pounds.”




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