The first raft race to precede the annual Boxing Day Swim took place in 1994, so this year will see the 25th Tenby Charity Boxing Day Swim Raft Race, to give it its full title.
Since the first race, it has changed, sometimes with a minimum four, then two people ‘on the raft’. Safety lifejackets are stipulated; for further safety, the race is closely monitored not only by the Pembroke Paddlers kayakers, immediately after their own kayak race, but also by the Tenby Surflink water safety team.
Sometimes it has been an Osborne/Morgan/Wright family competition; sometimes it has been joined by local businesses, clubs & organisations; and sometimes it has been one family against another family. Yet always it has been competed in the best of humour, albeit not always in the most favourable of conditions.
The race became “Daitonic” after the tragic death of Dai Rees, back in 2014. Dai was an avid raft race participant, with some notable victories to his own & his family’s name. His family still regularly compete in the raft race, indeed their last win was only last year.
And what do you need to do to take part? Well, build yourselves a raft which will float, preferably with at least two people on board; turn up on North Beach by 11am on 26th December, equipped with raft, life jackets, paddles and your competitive streak finely tuned. Oh, and please take the raft away when you’ve finished.