George Raft Race scheduled for August 2
By Jack Kintner
“It’s got nothing to do with the actor,” said Bob Knapp, proprietor of Catnap Canvas on Peace Portal Way and a genuine Cockney from near Regents Park in north London.
“When you’re having some fun with someone, he might say back to you that ‘You’re having a George Raft, aren’t you?’”
It was in that spirit of jest and frivolity that the Prestigious George Raft Race was born as a part of the annual waterfront celebration now known as Drayton Harbor Days. This year it’s set for Saturday, August 2.
The race will be the same course, around the inner marina from the boat launch to the main ramp in front of the Blaine Boating Center at Gate Two. “It begins at 1 p.m. so people should be in place at the ramp by 12:30 p.m. to sign releases and get ready,” Knapp said.
The rules are simple. “You build your raft yourself out of anything that floats. You could tape a wooden match to your belly and swim if you like, but most people are much more elaborate. Only human power, no engines, and dogs are OK, but no cats.”
Last year’s winner and Knapp’s daughter Emma Burrows will not be back to defend her crown, Knapp said, “So the prestigious George Raft Race Trophy will pass to other hands.” Knapp made it himself out of scraps from the Plover’s original restoration.
For more information, and help finding raw materials for your raft, contact Knapp at 815-6899 or at his business, Catnap Canvas, at 332-3111.