River Don raft race to come back with a splash

Raft Race in Port Elphinstone. Pictured from left are Amanda and Richard Ingram. Picture by Heather Fowlie

A popular north-east river raft race will be back with a splash this year – after last year’s event was cancelled in the wake of Storm Frank.

Hardy sailors took part in the first race along the Don in 1979 and each year since rafts have set off between at Kembhill Park in Kemnay and the old Don Bridge in Inverurie.

But last year organisers the Garioch Lions had to call off the popular event due to damage caused by Storm Frank.

The rivers Don and Ythan both reached record highs on January 7, 2016, with the deluge flooding 130 homes and 16 businesses in Inverurie, Port Elphinstone and Kintore; and a further 64 homes and three businesses in Ellon.

The race was traditionally organised by the Garioch Lions group, which is now defunct.

Now organiser Jim Souter is urging those who wish to get involved in this year’s race to get in touch.

“As usual all funds raised will go towards kidney and cancer research at Aberdeen University.

“It’s great to keep the money local and every year we get two professors from the university to come along and collect it afterwards.”

He added: “If the winners from the 2016 race could hand back the trophy to either myself or the Kintore Trophy Centre we would be very grateful.”

Anyone interested in either helping organise the race or taking part in it is asked to call Mr Souter on 07929 011023.

The race is due to take place on June 3.