VIDEO: Crowds line lakeside for wacky raft race

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Thousands flocked to Needham Lake on Sunday for the town’s 13th annual raft race.

The wacky competition saw 11 teams take to the waters to battle for the Tracey Cadman Challenge Trophy.

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Under a sunny sky, the Limeburners from Offton, all dressed as Smurfs, came out in front to win the hotly contested race, with the Four Non Blondes team taking the prize for best fancy dress.

Robin Kett, treasurer of the raft race, said the day had been a huge success.

He said: “It was a lovely day – absolutely brilliant and the weather was great too.

“I just think it is a completely different spectacle to anything else in the area.

“Also, people love to see people falling in the water and being silly.

“But it can get fiercely competitive once the teams are on the water. It can get really vicious.”

The annual race was first launched in 2002 as a one-off to mark the Queen’s golden jubilee.

Since then it has grown and grown with more than 3,000 attending this year’s event.

The winning team were presented with the trophy, named after a founding member of the raft race, Tracey Cadman, who sadly died of gall bladder cancer in June 2009 at the age of 43.

For more information about the raft race visit