Guildford Raft Race

**Unfortunately due to time constraints and the impact of Covid the difficult decision has been taken to postpone the Raft Race for 2021. We hope to hold this event in Spring of 2022. Stay tuned!**

This September, to launch Guildford’s Great Big Green Week, Zero Carbon Guildford is teaming up with Guildford Lions to hold the annual Guildford Raft Race - with a twist! 


We’re asking - nay demanding! - that all teams avoid buying anything new, using only recycled and repurposed materials to build rafts. 


If you already have a raft from previous years, then you’re recycling the entire raft, and you’re already a winner in our book! (Disclaimer: the actual winner is the team that crosses the finish line first).

The raft race will launch from Millmead Island on September 11th, and the first team to make it downstream to the Wey Kayak Club is the winner. We’ll also be holding some other events as part of the fun, so stay tuned for more info. The event is part of WWF’s national Great Big Green Week, to spread awareness and engagement on the climate and ecological crisis. After covering organising costs, all proceeds will go to local charities to be used on food security and environmental projects within the borough.

** We need to decide on the financial viability of this event asap. If you are keen to enter a team please email us today so that we can assess numbers. You won't need to pay or officially register, but we need to determine whether the race is viable in 2021. Thanks   : )

How Can You Help?

There’s a number of ways individuals or organisations can support this event.

  • Volunteer: help us plan and run the event. Email:

  • Sponsorship: if your business or organisation would like to sponsor the event to cover some of the organising costs it will ultimately mean more of the proceeds go toward community projects in the borough

  • Promote: Send this event round your networks and social media

  • Enter!: Most importantly of all, enter a team!

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How Do I Enter The Guildford Raft Race?

Step 1. Get a team together from your work colleagues, your community group, church, or just your friends and family. Organisations are free to enter more than 1 team. Teams should consist of 4-8 people. 


Step 2. Email us to register:, providing your name and your team name. 


Step 3. Entry fee is £10 per person, which will need to be paid in advance of receiving your race number. (You will be able to add more members on the day for the additional fee of £10).


Step 4. You’ll receive an instruction pack detailing the rules and giving you a race number. This number must appear on both sides of your raft, above the waterline, in 300mm high numbering.


Step 5. Get sponsored! The more cash you can raise to back your raft team the more proceeds will go back into community projects.


Entry fees and money generated by sponsorship will cover costs for use of the river, St Johns Ambulance, and council fees, and anything left over will be split between the two organising charities, Lions Club and Zero Carbon Guildford, to be funnelled back into the Guildford community via environmental and food security projects.

Recycled Raft Race Rules

  1. 4 - 8 people per raft

  2. Rafts must be a maximum length:breadth ratio of 2:1

  3. Rafts must be people-powered only. No motors of any kind are allowed. 

  4. Rafts used in previous years may be entered, and can be upgraded as long as the material used is not acquired new and fits the material requirements

  5. You must wear suitable footwear in case of glass on the river bed

  6. No new material may be obtained to construct the raft (with the exception of marine quality rope, which ZCG will collect at the end for re-use). Full list of acceptable materials below.

  7. All materials must be thoroughly cleaned prior to construction. Rafts will be inspected and stripped of any dirty material

  8. All paintwork and decorations in contact with the water must be non-toxic and non-polluting on contact with water

  9. No nails!!

  10. Screws must not protrude from materials

  11. Your team must be able to carry the raft without mechanical assistance

  12. Rafts must display your race number, on both port & starboard side, above the waterline of the craft, in 300mm high numbering. 

  13. You must be able to escape the raft quickly in case you sink or big meanies capsize you

  14. If you don’t comply with all these rules, and you can’t fix the issue on the day, you won’t be allowed to get in the water. It’s the way of the river.

Acceptable Construction Materials 


  • Steel/ tin cans

  • Black food trays 

  • Compostable plastic 

  • Corks

  • Food tins and drinks cans 

  • Fruit punnets  

  • Plastic bottles 

  • Plastic tins/ trays/ tubs

  • Plastic drink Bottles


  • Light-weight wood offcuts

  • Lumber and pallets

  • Old/ clean bins

  • PVC tubes/ gutters

  • Plastic barrels


  • Marine quality rope (will be collected & stored for re-use by ZCG after event)


  • All members of your team must be able to swim (obvs)

  • St Johns Ambulance & rescue vessels will be present

  • Suitable footwear must be worn at all times

  • A risk assessment will be completed by the organisers in advance of the event

  • Wey Kayak Club will follow behind the race collecting flotsam to ensure no pollution is left


  • Zero Carbon Guildford and The Lions Club cannot be held responsible for injury sustained by failing to follow proper safety precautions