Aug 052019


The Odiham Raft Race is back by popular demand on 1 September 2019, following on from the roaring success of last year’s inaugural race. It will take place again from Colt Hill Wharf, Odiham.

Teams will build their own rafts in the weeks before the event, then race against the clock on the day. This year the rafts will set off at 5-minute intervals for a 2.2km (1.4 mile) paddle along the Basingstoke Canal.

It’s a slightly different course this year – rafts start from Colt Hill, turn around at Lodge Farm Bridge and come back again – so the racing will be condensed in a shorter section of the canal, with more overtaking, collisions, mutiny and general maritime mayhem than ever before!

It’s a fantastic day out for spectators young and old. There is no entrance fee, and alongside the fun on the water, there will food and drink, ice cream, activities and artisan produce on offer from stalls at The Wharf. There is car parking available.

The funds raised from this event will be used by The Basingstoke Canal Society to help keep the beautiful canal in the best possible condition so that we all can enjoy boating, walking, cycling and watching the diverse wildlife along its 32-mile length.

To find out more about entering a raft or coming along to watch, visit Galleon Marine’s raft race website (which has plenty of photos of last year’s event) or call them on 01256 703691.  Also, keep up to date with the Raft Race Facebook page.


About the Canal: The Basingstoke Canal is a beautiful waterway that runs for 32 miles across Surrey and Hampshire. The canal is both a popular recreational amenity for the community and an important wildlife habitat. It was restored from a derelict state in the 1970s and 80s by hundreds of volunteers and still substantially relies on volunteers for its upkeep to this day, working in conjunction with the Canal owners’ agent, the Basingstoke Canal Authority. Most of the waterway has been a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) since 1995, and Odiham lies on one of the most popular and scenic stretches. The Canal originally continued to Basingstoke (a total distance of 37 miles), but is not been passable beyond Greywell (Hampshire) since the Greywell Tunnel collapsed in 1932.

About the organisers: Galleon Marine Boatyard are the organisers and primary contact for the Raft Race. Situated at Colt Hill, Odiham, Hampshire, RG29 1AL, they offer rowboats, kayaks and canoes for hire and refreshments in their picnic garden on the Basingstoke Canal. They also provide boatyard services, boat storage and self-drive narrowboat holidays. The Basingstoke Canal Society are supporting the organisation and promotion of the event. As the guardian of the Basingstoke Canal, the Society promotes and campaigns for the sustainable future of the Canal as a navigation. Through the John Pinkerton Canal Cruises operation, it also raises money which is used to fund maintenance and improvement works undertaken by Society voluntary work parties.

 For more info please contact Ken Sankey, The Basingstoke Canal Society, Tel 07850 652769, or at