Raft race sunk

PORTISHEAD'S much loved raft race has been cancelled - for the second year running. Bosses at the Portishead Lifeboat Trust, which organises

PORTISHEAD'S much loved raft race has been cancelled - for the second year running.Bosses at the Portishead Lifeboat Trust, which organises the annual dash across the town's Lake Grounds, admitted this week the event will not go ahead.The news has come as a real body blow to the lifeboat trust which needs to raise £30,000 a year to keep the lifeboat on the water.It was forced to cancel the raft race last year due to unforeseen circumstances and said the decision not to hold an event in 2007 was taken after two main organisers of the event fell ill.A Portishead Lifeboat Trust spokesman said: "We are very sad at having to take this decision but due to unforseen circumstances and illness we have had to take the decision that the raft race will not go ahead this year. Without a committee to run it we have had no choice but to cancel."The lifeboat trust, which is based at Sugar Loaf Bay, says the annual race, held each July, raises about £2,000 towards the running costs of the boat. The trust receives no Government help with the cost of running the lifeboat and relies entirely on donations and fund-raising.The spokesman also added that if the event was to continue in future years, more people needed to come forward and help organise it.He said: "No one could have forseen that the current committee would have to pull out for personal reasons. What we need to ensure the future of the raft race are people who are willing to come forward and organise it on an annual basis."It is a fantastic event and one which everyone really enjoys and we do not want to turn our back on it."The lifeboat has already been called out eight times this year to emergencies in the channel.Anyone who wants to get involved in reviving the raft race and volunteer as an organiser can call the North Somerset Times newsdesk on 01934 422656.

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