Crews get to work on rafts

By Laurel Stowell

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WATER SPORTS: Peter Ellery {left}, Shane Balsom and Ash Walker carry the raft they're making. PHOTO/STUART MUNRO
WATER SPORTS: Peter Ellery {left}, Shane Balsom and Ash Walker carry the raft they're making. PHOTO/STUART MUNRO

In the upcoming Whanganui raft race motors may not be used to make teams go faster - but they can use water pumps to saturate competitors, Dan Goldsworthy says.

He is restarting what used to be an annual raft race on the Whanganui River.

Mr Goldsworthy has heard a lot of stories about those races, including one from a man who met his wife through the race.

He's hoping the one he's organising for March 5 will be as good.

"It's all about fun. Safe fun, of course," he said.

The race starts at 12.30pm at the Whanganui East boat ramp and ends at the Putiki Slipway 3.5km downriver. The tide should be going out.

There will be prizes for the fastest raft, the most creative craft and the crew with the best costumes. Each of the major prizes is worth $300.

The prizegiving takes place at Putiki Park straight after the race.

It costs $50 per raft to enter, with money going to Plunket as a local charity.

Mr Goldsworthy's Plumber Dan business has a team entered.

The crew have been building The Floater in their spare time, a contraption of plastic barrels and plumbing downpipe. They're not sure it will actually float.

"It will eventually be brown. We may paint it," Peter Ellery said.

There are rules for entrants:
¦Each team must have at least four people, and all must wear life jackets.
¦Polystyrene can't be used in the rafts, unless it's enclosed, because it can break up and make a mess in the river.
¦No alcohol, and no motorised propulsion.

There are 26 entries so far, and they close on March 1.

¦To enter, see Mr Goldsworthy at the Saturday market, call him on 021 635 517 or email plumberdanltd@gmail.com.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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