All aboard for Matlock raft race

Matlock Boxing Day raft race.                                   
These Santa's sleigh proves it's worth through the rapids.
Matlock Boxing Day raft race. These Santa's sleigh proves it's worth through the rapids.

Intrepid adventurers in fancy dress will be making a splash on quirky craft in a Boxing Day raft race.

The annual race, from Matlock’s Cawdor Quarry to Cromford Meadows, features home-made vessels, some of which will sink or break up along the way especially when trying to negotiate the weir at Masson Mill.
Thousands of supporters lining the riverbank will cheer the crews on their way along the four-mile course.

A private footpath is opened for the day allowing viewing from both sides of the bank all the way to Willersley Castle. The bridges over the Derwent also make great viewing places.
Organised by the Derbyshire Association of Sub Aqua Clubs, the race has raised approximately £154,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute since it started in 1961. Proceeds have gone towards buying a lifeboat (the Spirit of Derbyshire) and a small inshore rescue lifeboat.

The race on December 26 starts at 10am. Entry is £15 per person, free to watch but donations for the RNLI will be invited.