Got mates? A sense of humour? Willing to get wet and wild? Then this is the perfect team event for you … welcome to raft racing!

No experience necessary. In fact, the less, the better – that’s what we’re all about. A bit of carnage and a lot of fun!

Teams are made up of either four (R4) or six (R6) people. International competitions include; open, masters, under 23, and under 19 in both men’s and women’s categories. Fun time competitions and training teams can be made up of any ragtag crew. Generally there is ‘one voice’ on the raft who calls the moves as we move downstream, but there is no one person guiding the raft. All four corners have a role to play in steering. The two middle people are the powerhouses, but are often called into technical action to help the fronties.

Raft Teams living it up at Lee Valley

Four for the price of one

Standard international races include not one, but four race disciplines – sprint, head to head, slalom and downriver. Points from each race count towards an overall score. In fun events, this formula might change so be sure to listen into the race briefing.

Team Oarsome! Photo by

Sound good?

There are plenty of events and training coming up in 2018 …

British Rafting Series 2018 – Check out @BritishRafting on Facebook for details

  • Feb 10-11 – British R4 National Selection event, Holme Pierrepont National Water Sports Centre. Selection to represent Great Britain throughout 2018! Two British teams per category are permitted at European Championships, Slovakia, July 2018. Only the first placed team is permitted at the World Championships in Argentina, Oct 2018.
  • March 9-11 – International Women’s Day Raft Race, Lee Valley White Water Centre. Teams of four. Plus kayak freestyle and boater cross competitions – all in the aim of promoting women in paddle sports. And we are proud to announce that Palm Equipment are the exclusive sponsors of the Open Women’s category.
  • May 19-20 – Cardiff Raft Race
  • 15-16 September – British Open Raft Race, Lee Valley White Water Centre. Inlcudes international race rules on Saturday, ‘Sunday Funday’ and free have-a-go sessions for the whole family.


Team Palm and Team Red Rose both representing Great Britain at the European Championships in Georgia, 2017 – photo, Sean Clarke

Fun nights and training

Lee Valley White Water Centre, Waltham Cross

The home of the current British men’s and women’s raft teams! Come and meet us for a chat about how to get started in rafting – there is always someone around. We have also developed thriving youth raft teams here.

Newcomers would need to join LVPSC (Lee Valley Paddle Sports Club) to ‘have a go’ rafting, but you can test it out first with a couple of £5 sessions. Wednesday evenings.

National Water Sports Centre, Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham

In February, Monday night raft training nights will re-start and there is also talk of Monday raft race evenings. These are relaxed peer group sessions. Give the guys at the slalom course a bell on 0115 982 4716, or check out the facebook page @HPWhiteWater for updates.

Cardiff International White Water Centre

Come along to our Friday night social raft race club! Every Friday from 6-8 pm. Get access to rafts and knowledge on raft racing. More info on the website or call 0292 0829970. There is even a Cardiff raft race series with prizes from Palm Equipment and Dirty Dog:


What you need

A few mates – teams of six is ideal, but you can turn up and we’ll try fit you with a team if needed.

Wetsuit/kayak apparel – something that’ll keep you warm! We really like to get new people into rafting so if you have nothing we can at least find PFD’s and helmets.

All rafts are provided. We normally rummage up raft paddles too.