HEAVY rain failed to deter competitors from taking to the water for a charity raft race.

Twelve teams of up to six people contested the 2014 Durham Raft Race on the River Wear in Durham City on Saturday (June 8), raising an estimated £2,500 for good causes.

The event was organised by students from New College Durham, with help from supporters of The Fire Fighters Charity.

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Crews raced homemade rafts down a 300m stretch of the Wear between the bandstand and St Cuthbert’s Landing.

The racing began before Saturday’s deluge kicked in but continued even during the downpour, with Durham City Rugby Club’s first team eventually claiming victory, in a raft named Hawaii Five-O.

A crew of New College Durham public services lecturers finished second in their vessel A Team of Two Planks and Fire and Ice Expeditions came in third, in Stealth Cruiser.

No final fundraising figure is yet available, although it is expected around £2,500 will be collected, to be split between The Fire Fighters Charity, the Great North Air Ambulance and Combat Stress.

Organiser John Robson said: “Even after the first race the students were saying it was fantastic. It all came together.

“It didn’t matter how much the rain came afterwards.”

It is hoped the raft race will be repeated next year.

Next weekend (June 14-15), the Wear will be taken over by the Durham Regatta.