Chester Raft Race

starting at Chester Meadows.

Chester's Premier River Event

Enter early to secure your place in this spectacular event

Chester's Premier River Event

As well as fun on the water, there is plenty to do on shore.

Great Fun for Spectators and Competitors Alike

The Chester Raft Race is an annual charity event taking place every July in the Groves on the River Dee and organised by the Rotary Club of Chester. The rafts race against the clock over an approximate 400 metre course starting just upriver of the Royal Chester Rowing Club, passing under the pedestrian Suspension Bridge to a finish on the north bank of the river by Recorder’s Steps to the Walls and just above the weir. Although the race is over at this point, the rafts then have to retrace their route back to the launch area on the Meadows.

The 2019 event also featured UK Fly-board Champion Jay St John with a spectacular display of fly-boarding right out of 007.


Charities for 2020

Each year the Raft Race provides opportunities for fun and friendly competition on the River Dee in Chester and an opportunity for participants and spectators alike to support local needy causes. For this year’s event organised jointly by Rotary and Round Table the two main chosen charities for are:

countess logo 

Charity: Countess of Chester Cardiac Rehab

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Department is part of the Community Heart Service and are in need of funds for a state of the art  ‘CPEX Treadmill’ (Cardio Pulmonary Exercise Testing). The new equipment is an integrated system for making accurate and reliable metabolic measurements for any patients who have suffered a heart attack, gone through major heart surgery, have had complex devices fitted (pacemakers and defibrillators) or have a diagnosis of heart failure.  It is planned for this system to be used with patients who are about to undertake their cardiac rehabilitation programme to ensure that the exercise programme is tailored perfectly for them. It will also be used to enable the department to research into this very specialist area.

The rehabilitation programme provides a very tailored programme of exercise and education by clinical nursing, exercise and therapy staff and gives patients confidence in themselves after a very frightening time. This equipment will also help the department guide patients who want to return to work (in very specific jobs) and who also want to return to their previous levels of activity, mobility  or higher levels of sports performance. This machine will mean patients are using the most modern system available help them achieve their goals, it will also facilitate clinical staff being able to detect if there are any ongoing problems which can be followed up with their medical consultants. 150 people each week in Chester use this programme.  In England 5.9 million people are living with cardiovascular disease and 1.8 million are living with Coronary heart disease.

passion for learning

Charity: Passion for Learning, Stanlaw Abbey Business Centre
Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH65 9BF

Passion for Learning was founded in 2011 with the intention of recruiting adults from all walks of life who could bring their experiences, enthusiasm and skills to children struggling to read and learn. Many children simply do not have the benefit of the enriching experiences that make learning fun. Limited opportunities and little knowledge of the wonders of the world in which they live mean that too many young people lack ambition and aspiration. Understanding individual children’s motivations and the barriers that they have to overcome to learn and achieve is the starting point for the work that we do. Within the community at large there are literally hundreds of men and women who have the time and the inclination to enrich these children’s lives and open their eyes and doors to a brighter future. They help to introduce children to books that they want to read as well as games and activities that enable them to learn as they play. Since starting with just one school, six volunteers and 18 children it now has over 130 volunteers working with over 400 children.


 Main Sponsor

If you would like to be a sponsor of our Charity Raft Race in aid of our main chosen charity and other charities of the Rotary Club of Chester, we should be pleased to discuss the opportunities available. Please contact us on and we will be in touch.

Rotary Club of Chester

President: Brian Westcott

Meet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Trinity St, Chester. 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at 12.50pm.

The Rotary Club of Chester is a friendly organisation with male and female members from the Chester and North Wales area. Please take a look at our website to find out more about what we do. We are a part of Rotary International, which is the world’s largest service organisation of friends, leaders, and problem – solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad.

If you are a Rotarian visiting the area, you will be made welcome at one of our meetings.

If you’re interested in joining Chester Rotary Club, please email the address below and we will arrange for you to attend one of our meetings. There are several clubs within the Chester and Cheshire area, and each club has a different profile, but all support projects within their own local area. So if you live outside the Chester area you might want to contact a club in your home area.


Thanks to your support of the Raft Race, @rotarychester were proud to present a cheque for £5,000 to @ClaireHouse Children's Hospice. Thank you again to our intrepid rafters and everyone who turned out to cheer them on and donate. See you next year! 🚣‍♂️🚣‍♀️👍🎉

Claire House would like to say a big #ThankYouThursday to the amazing @rotarychester @gov_procurement @Cargill
@NestonNomadGirl @GordaleNursery @sandra_kirkham @TrustlandGroup @AirbusintheUK @TheHiveYZ @craignotgraham and to all of the Claire House supporters 👏👏👏

"One of the biggest events in the Cheshire charity calendar..." thanks @dawnward4! Great glimpses of Flyboarder Jay and some of this year's fabulous rafts. Is that the @HarkersArms bus we see?

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View Our Recent Raft Race Photo Galleries


News from the Raft Race Team
Community Award Fund donations

Community Award Fund donations

  The first tranche of donations from the Community Award Fund have now been made, as follows; Diversity Ball in Chester Cathedral £200 Chester scouts Gang show £200 Friends of Mulberry Garden Bench for day care center* £229 BIRD 25 Resource books @£15 £375 PHAB...

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The Rotary Club of Chester Community Award Fund

The Rotary Club of Chester Community Award Fund

Following the donation of £5,000 to Claire House, the balance of funds raised from the 2019 Raft Race is being distributed by the Rotary Club of Chester.  The Community Award fund is intended to assist small organisations and good causes from Chester and surrounding...

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Claire House awarded £5,000 from 2019 Raft Race donations

Claire House awarded £5,000 from 2019 Raft Race donations

Chester Raft Race 2019 raised just over £9,000, from entry fees, sponsorship and donations on the day. The main charity supported  was Claire House Children’s Hospice, and a cheque for £5,000 was  handed over to the charity and the Rotary Club of Chester club meeting...

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