Culdaff watersports makes a splash for RNLI

Crew of the new RNLI Inshore lifeboat named after David Roulston who tragically drowned on the North Coast in 2005, pictured at the official naming of the new Portrush Inshore Lifeboat on Saturday.Pic Steven McAuley/Kevin McAuley Photography Multimedia

Crew of the new RNLI Inshore lifeboat named after David Roulston who tragically drowned on the North Coast in 2005, pictured at the official naming of the new Portrush Inshore Lifeboat on Saturday.Pic Steven McAuley/Kevin McAuley Photography Multimedia

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This weekend sees the 11th Annual Water Sports weekend in Culdaff with a long programme of events planned all in aid of the RNLI Buncrana lifeboat.

Having already raised a whopping 60,000 euro for the RNLI, the organisers are hoping for another successful weekend and raising money for a charity “close to their hearts”.

The team from McGuinness's Bar, Culdaff, secure third position in last year's Raft Ract in Culdaff. (1307PG95)

The team from McGuinness's Bar, Culdaff, secure third position in last year's Raft Ract in Culdaff. (1307PG95)

JP Houghton, who has been part of the Raft Race Committee from the beginning, told the ‘Journal’ yesterday they have been supporting the lifesaving charity for the past nine years.

“The RNLI is a charity that is very dear to people in our area around Culdaff and Glengad. Unfortunately in recent times the importance of the lifeboat has hit home. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes not so anything we can do to raise money for this vital charity, we’ll do it.”

JP, who grew up in the Bonagee area of Culdaff, said he would always have been very aware of the importance of the RNLI.

“We are all very appreciative of the work the men and women from the organisation do for us all. Everyday they risk their lives for others, and we want to acknowledge that.

“Another good thing about raising money is that we know the money will stay with the Buncrana/Lough Swilly branch of the RNLI.”

The committee have merged the idea of raising money with the fun and games the water sports weekend always brings to Culdaff.

“This is a family event, and I know its tough for people during this economic climate, but the good thing is that we have don’t have an admission cost on anything. So come along and throw a few pound in the budgets and we’ll be happy.”

The group have a wide variety of events, kicking off with the car treasure hunt on Friday evening.

“The car treasure hunt is always a great night out. I have two kids and we have great craic doing it together every year.”

The fun packed weekend will also include the now famous duck race from the Culdaff Bridge on Saturday, before the climax on Sunday at Bonagee Pier with the Raft Race.

“We’re something for everyone. The duck race always attracts a big crowd on Saturday, and even though it only lasts about 30 minutes there is always great excitement about.

“On Sunday there will be live music down at the pier for the Raft Race. When we started 11 years ago, it was only the raft race but about six or seven years ago we changed and made it into a weekend long event.

“There will be raffles with loads of prizes, a lucky dip, bouncy castle and a new side show this weekend in the form of a clothes hanging competition. Hopefully the weather will stay good for us, we’ve been blessed in recent years.”

Finally there is one final visitor JP and the gang are hoping to come... The Portrush Lifeboat.

“They’ve been with us before but we never know until the day, but it’s a great site to see it coming around the pier and hopefully it’ll be back this year again.” For more details on the Culdaff Watersports Weekend contact John Paul on 086-8606427 or George on 087-7722171 or follow them on facebook for full schedule of events.