Yachting News » Of Interest » The Antibes Raft Race Returns

The Antibes Raft Race Returns

RaftRace thumb

The Raft Race returns to Port Vauban, Antibes on the 14th April 2018, brought to you by non-profit making organisation ‘’The Antibes Raft Race Association’’. They will be raising money for local charities including The Antibes SNSM Lifeboat, which is manned by unpaid volunteers in urgent need of donations in order to continue to save lives. 

What do you remember from 1981?

The launch of MTV; Ronald Reagan became the US President; Lady Diana and Prince Charles were married; the wreck of the Titanic was found; and Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a bird at a press conference… but that’s not all, it was the year of the first official Raft Race in Antibes.

RaftRace1981Buoyant sideburns give this crew the edge in the inaugural 1981 race

This year we are planning all the same totally bonkers fun and hope to raise plenty of money for charity.

The original and rather sea crusty Raft Race Association committee is delighted to be working closely with Port Vauban and inspired and hugely driven onwards by the enthusiasm of new Bluewater committee members, as well as an ever-growing team of volunteers who collectively bring you the Raft Race 2018.

What is the Raft Race?

The Raft Race Association was created to emulate the Oxford /Cambridge Boat Race but without all the rules! And this memorable, chaotic, totally bonkers, fun race traditionally takes place at Port Vauban. The race has been held on and off over the last 36 years, with the last one taking place in 2012. Until now…

The event will be held at Port Vauban in Antibes, on 14th April 2018, and, as usual there will be a massive prize giving ceremony and fabulous fund-raising gala party in the evening with food and drink available, plus live music for the hearty who like to party!

To read the history of the event, and see the hilarious photos of past rafts and rafters, please visit the official Raft Race website.

RaftRace2012 kickoffRacers get a spray down in 2012

Who can participate and what’s involved?

Local businesses, crew and yachts are invited to build their own raft no larger than 12m to sail around a course we create at Port Vauban. Be as creative as you like, but no motors or electricity of any kind are allowed, get your paddles out and get rowing!

Anything goes at the Raft Race and judging by the past rafts there have been some hilarious, ingenious, crazy and downright nuts creations. Fancy dress is encouraged, a drenching is to be expected, cheaters will be egged, and above all fun is mandatory.


Contact us for full sponsorship information which start from just 200€ to have your branding at the event. We make no profit from this event, all sponsorship is to help cover costs and raise money for several worthy charities.

RaftRacePeddleCould you peddle or paddle your way to first place? 

I’m crazy enough, how do I enter?

To be a part of the Raft Race teams just send an email to info@raftrace.net confirming your company / yacht name, include your contact details and we will send you the application form in due course to complete as well as the details of where to send your entry fee.

Expect to be hosed down by nearby yachts and pelted with various forms of harmless ammunition from your competitive fellow rafters eager to take home a coveted award. This event is not for the faint hearted!

How much does it cost?

You are responsible for the cost of building your own raft, so be as cheap and economical, or as lavish as you like! Your only other cost is a €200 participation fee which goes to charity. There will be a maximum of 35 raft applications accepted and we will only hold your request to participate for 2 weeks whilst payment is processed; many a confident crew have talked the talk with raft ideas, but not everyone has what it takes to tackle the challenge.

The rules

There are a few small rules we ask everyone to adhere to in the name of health and safety. Please refer to the raftrace.net website for the full list, but most notably is the size of your raft at no larger than 12m, and all rafts must carry at least one female. A dude dressed as a lady doesn’t count!


Other ways to help?

I’m not brave enough to participate but want to donate. You can donate here. No matter how small, every penny will help.


If you would like to get involved please contact the Raft Race Committee, we are looking for help sourcing materials, building stages and stalls, setting up the event, decorating, dismantling, clearing etc. Please come be a part of this amazing event.

Who will be the first yacht crew to sign up for the 2018 Raft Race?
We can’t wait to see!


About our Charitable donations:

SNSM, our Antibes Life Boat

Greatly appreciated by all of us involved in the Riviera yachting industry add to this all the times they have helped out others including members of the public, fisherman who use the coastline – their value to the community is huge.

“The lifeboat relies entirely on donations. It is manned by a volunteer crew who give their time and risk their lives for no financial reward. They are on emergency call 24/7, 365 days of the year. Ready to put to sea within 15 minutes of a shout. Trained and equipped for air sea rescue, medical evacuation, firefighting and recovery”

Antibes lifeboat is always in need of your donations. It costs about €80,000 per year to run the lifeboat. One tank of fuel costs €1,800 alone and we need to raise about €450,000 over the next 10 years just to replace the lifeboat. If you use the waterways between Antibes and Corsica this is your lifeboat.…what would we do without them?

Historically we have always raised a fine sum and have also considered it important to contribute to other local charities in the area of Antibes.

Restos du Coeur who help those in need including the elderly and the homeless to enjoy hot nutritious meals

Association Petits Princes, an organisation helping to fulfil the dreams of seriously ill children and teenagers.

We feel these organisations are close to the heart of the local community, and together we can help raise enough money to make a difference, whilst having an amazing day of competition and a fantastic evening of camaraderie.

How to contact us:

Email: info@raftrace.net
Website: www.raftrace.net
Facebook: facebook.com/TheAntibesRaftRace/

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