Rafts to the ready this summer!

Action from the 2013 Peterhead Scottish Week raft race at the town's Lido
Action from the 2013 Peterhead Scottish Week raft race at the town's Lido

Peterhead Scottish Week has confirmed it will host a raft race this summer.

The decision follows months of uncertainty over one of the week’s most popular events.

Peterhead Scottish Week vice-chairman Scott Ross was keen to declare the race back on the official programme of events after it had been initially left off the provisional timetable.

The popular event was resurrected for the 50th celebrations of Scottish Week in 2011 after a six-year break.

Despite last year’s event being a tremendous success, it was announced to the large gathering at the Lido that they could be witnessing the last raft race, as each year had become more difficult to get teams to sign up.

Speaking to the Buchanie, Scott said: “Obviously I’m delighted that we are good to go for the raft race. It is arguably the most popular event in Scottish Week.

“Those that enter have great fun and fond memories and each team have their supporters lined up along the Lido. I’ve competed in the event and I know that every team wants to win but what strikes me most is that it’s a great team building exercise.”

The raft race started life as a ‘Bath Tub Race’ across the bay in 1975, but evolved into the raft race the following year. FreshCatch have dominated the event in recent years with last year being their seventh victory in eight attempts.

Scott said: “FreshCatch produce a raft within the rules. They have remained faithful to the event over the years both as a participant and as a sponsor.

“Their success comes down to the hard work they put in. Though we shouldn’t forget that two years ago McGill Valeting won and last year the top three teams crossed the line within metres of one another – the closest finish for a number of years.

“It is more than possible to close the gap and win. Teams that enter just need to rise to the technical challenge and build a raft that can compete.”

While preparations for the 53rd Scottish Week are still ongoing Scott added: “We are making this announcement now in order to give organisations plenty of time to plan and build their raft and register their entry.

“Last year it was great to welcome B&Q as first time entrants, the Palace Hotel bettered their performance from the year previous, Score fielded two teams and Clydesdale Bank returned after a year’s break (using the winning raft of 2012).

“Dales Engineering and Peterhead Port Authority also joined the show and JogScotland had the crowd in hysterics with their antics. I hope they’ll all decide to take part this summer.”

If you wish to enter your team into the raft race for 2014 then contact Scott on 07900 247 978 or contact the Scottish Week Facebook page.