The Rotary River Raft Race
Terms and Conditions

The Rotary Club of Northwich will appoint a Race Official, whose decisions and interpretation of the rules for all aspects of the Raft Race shall be final.

This is a fun event, but it does contain an element of risk. All participants do so at their own risk and The Rotary Club of Northwich will not be held liable for any loss or injury sustained through participation in this event. It is the team captain’s responsibility to make their crew aware of this by obtaining each crew member’s signature on the Crew Waiver Sheet.

The Raft:

  1. Must be no more than 4m long and 2m wide.
  2. Must be designed so that the crew sits ON the raft and not IN the raft.
  3. Must be constructed from more than 8 separate integral parts, and must not contain a boat as part of its construction.
  4. Must be constructed from materials that will not breakup in the water, or, if such materials are used, they must be double-bagged and sealed in strong polythene.
  5. Any barrels used must not have been previously used for the storage of liquids that could pollute the river – unless they are first cleaned thoroughly, and then securely sealed with the sealed hole uppermost.
  6. Must not carry any motor-driven pump for emptying water.
  7. Must only be propelled by the crew with paddles.
  8. Must display prominently, in characters no smaller than 30cm high and no lower than 60cm above the waterline when fully laden, the team’s Race Number (which will be allocated with confirmation of the team’s entry) which must be visible from both sides.
  9. Must have a towing point that is easily-accessible even if the raft capsizes.
  10. Must be fitted with a minimum of six permanently-attached rope handles for carrying the raft to the launch point and to aid climbing onto the raft from the water.
  11. The raft must be presented, at the allotted time, in a “Race-ready” condition. No assembly or adjustments will be allowed after that time.


The Crew:

  1. Must contain no more than 6 persons
  2. All crew must be aged 16 or over on the day of the event
  3. Must be competent swimmers and wear a CE-approved lifejacket that conforms to European Standard EN395 as a minimum
  4. Must wear suitable footwear at all times within the designated race area(s) and during the race. Suitable footwear does not include wellington boots or similar
  5. Participants are advised to wear canoe or cycle helmets – or similar.

The Race:

  1. The race will take place on the River Weaver by Weaver Way and Weaver Point, Baron’s Quay
  2. The course will be approximately 400 metres.
  3. The winner of each race will be the first raft to have been paddled across the finish line entirely, with all its crew seated on the raft.
  4. The number of races that each team will be part of will be determined by the number of overall entries, and will be notified in the event pack. (This may alter on the day, depending on whether or not a raft fails approval, or does not survive a race.)
  5. If none of the rafts in a race succeed in crossing the finish line, that race will be declared null and void. Those teams that do not cross the finish line will be unable to compete any further racing.
  6. If any – or all – crew member(s) fall from the raft during the race, they must get back on their raft to finish the race. Any raft crossing the finish line without its full complement of crew seated on the raft will be deemed not to have finished the race.
  7. No team will be permitted to reconstruct, or substantially alter, its raft between races. Tightening of ropes, etc., will be permitted.
  8. Teams interfering with their competitor’s raft or crew, through direct or indirect contact, will be disqualified from the event. Any team or its supporters found throwing water, powder or any other object during the event will be disqualified from this and future events.

On the day:

  1. Vehicles transporting the rafts will be asked to assemble in the Verdin Park Event Car Park, via its Winnington Hill entrance, at a time to be notified in the event pack which will be sent to each team prior to the event.
  2. From there, a marshal will direct them to Town Park (opposite LockTec/Mosshaselhurst, adjacent to Town Bridge), where the raft and paddles are to be immediately unloaded and placed as directed. The vehicle is then to be removed immediately. **
  3. Team captains are to assemble on Lock Street at the time notified in the event pack to receive their official race number, subject to their raft being approved to race.
  4. All crews should assemble at Race HQ at the time notified in the event pack for a final briefing. Any crews with members missing this briefing will not be permitted to race.
  5. Race start times will be given at the briefing/in the event pack. Any crew not available at its allotted time will forfeit its race.
  6. A marquee will be available on Lock Street for crews to change before and after the race.
  7. Cold water showers will be available for crews to rinse themselves off if they are unlucky enough to be submerged in the river. No soap or shampoo is to be used. Crews are reminded to wash their hands after each race.
  8. Crews responsible for any pollution of the river or its banks will be liable to pay compensation to the Canal and River Trust to cover the cost of clean-up.
  9. Prize giving will take place at Weaver Point at the time notified in the event pack. Details of all prize categories will be notified in the event pack but will include a trophy for the overall winner of the races.

** Non-compliance with these transport instructions will result in disqualification from this and future Raft Races. It may also constitute an offence of obstruction.

No refund of entry fee will be given if a team is unable to participate due to disqualification or if its raft becomes unsafe during the event.

The Entry Pack will be sent to each team, by email, no later than Monday 8th July 2019. If you have not received your pack by this date, please contact us via the website:

  • Upon completion of the event, transport should again assemble in Verdin Park, from where they will be directed back to Lock Street to collect the raft. Any materials not removed by its team will be subject to a clean-up surcharge. **