Wednesday 25th May 2022

Fear knot! There’s still time to enter Maidstone’s wettest race…

Fear knot! There’s still time to enter Maidstone’s wettest race…
Maidstone River Festival – Saturday 30th July 2022

Maidstone River Festival is back, and with it comes the annual Raft Race (kindly sponsored by Clive Emson Auctioneers) – in aid of Heart of Kent Hospice.

Teams of rafters will once again race from the High-Level railway bridge to the Archbishop’s Palace to win the coveted Raft Race trophy.

The 650m stretch of River Medway will be lined with spectators and boats. Some are there to cheer the teams on as they battle against the current, but most – let’s be honest – are there to lob water balloons and flour bombs at the participants!

For those who want to take a more leisurely pace, or show off their creativity skills, trophies are also available for the ‘best dressed raft’ and the team who raise the ‘most sponsorship’ money for the Heart of Kent Hospice.

The last race was won by Maidstone Canoe Club in 2019 – but MCC are unable to make it this year. This means the competition is wide open!

River Festival Chairman, Cllr David Naghi, said “In previous years, entries have come from businesses, sports clubs, groups of friends, young farmers, estate agents, councils, the army and even competitive families! Most rafts make it over the start line, not all of them reach the finish line, but everyone has a lovely time”

For more information or to enter, please contact Steve Paine (07906 271325 or


Application forms must be received by 30th June. 

Maximum of 6 people per raft, and parental permission is required for under 18s. 

Entry fee is £50 per raft. 

Life jackets are available to hire on the day. 

The race begins at 2:30, but rafters will have access to the launch site from 12:30 to do any assembly/construction.