Portrush beach came to Victoria Square

Did anyone see the Desert Island in Victoria Square on Wednesday and Thursday? Did you wonder what was going on, or were you more distracted by the Titanic Balloon being created further down the mall?

After a quick chat with the RNLI team I definitely learnt a lot about the Portrush Raft Race which they were promoting. What I didn’t know was just how popular and big the race was each year!

The Portrush Charity Raft Race is in its 31st year and is traditionally held in May to raise funds for the Portrush Lifeboat Station and the volunteer RNLI crew. This year however it is moving to June to kick start the Queens Jubilee celebrations and the arrival of the Olympic Flame. As this years sponsor is Victoria Square, RNLI opted for something different to showcase the event. To celebrate the Victoria Square partnership, they sent a raft to Belfast to promote the family fun day on Saturday 2nd June 2012 and the Olympic Flame arrival on the 3rd.

At the bottom of the staircase in Victoria Square, they constructed a desert island, complete with sand, bucket and spades, palm trees and deckchairs. And celebrities such as Pamela Ballentine, Alan Simpson, and Andy McClelland Junior World Kayaking Champion and lifeboat crew members at Portrush all volunteered to take part in the sandcastle building competition on the island.

It was all good fun as the celebs got on their knees, covered in wet sand and got fiercely competitive over who could build the best sandcastle. Im not sure who won yet, but apparently Alan Simpson was definitely out to impress us all in his shorts!

Further information can be obtained from

Maryna Wylie -Chair of the Raft Race Committee on 07540305569
Judy Nelson- Lifeboat Press Officer on 07736923936

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