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Fine weather in Minehead raises rafters' spirits - with video
FOLLOWING fears of stormy weather, a warm spell finally settled on Minehead for the 33rd annual raft race on Sunday.
Thousands of spectators lined Blue Anchor and Minehead seafronts to watch more than 40 teams tackle the five-mile course.
Street collectors had already brought in more than £5,000 and the auction of Dan James’ lifeboatman gorilla raised almost £600 for RNLI funds, with more cash expected from team sponsorship.
Organiser Derek Williams said: “Earlier in the week the forecast for Sunday was looking dreadful but it gradually improved as time went on and in the end we managed to complete the day’s full programme of events in the dry.”
Only one raft failed to complete the course, breaking up as soon as its crew climbed on board at Blue Anchor.
But some impressive finish times were put up by rafters who had travelled from as far as the Midlands and the Home Counties to take part.
A full day of entertainment at Minehead harbour finished with the traditional fireworks display at night, watched by a 4,000-strong crowd.
To watch a video of the race, click here .
RESULTS : 1 and Stan Rawle Trophy - Patrick’s Gulpers; 2 and Ron Greenslade Trophy - Tring Rafters; first ladies’ raft and first mixed team raft – Tring Rafters; first local raft and Butlin’s Cup - Valiant Solder, Roadwater; first fun raft and Neil Arnold Trophy – Happy Feet; most original raft and Mike Arnold Trophy – George Hocking; best pub entry and Louisa Cup – Black Pig; fancy dress trophy - White Lodge; last local raft and Scuddy Memorial Trophy - Scud’s Missiles; best decorated support boat – Mike and William Webber.