Event Details


Scroll down this page to read our FULL RACES RULES AND REGS


August 28, 2021 (Rain or Shine)

9:00AM until 10:30PM Check-ins and inspections.

11:00 – 2:00 Race starts will be staggered to reduce congestion and for safety depending on the number of entries.

4:00PM Awards Ceremony

All participants must sign a GTRRR Release and Waiver.

All Entries Must Register by Friday, August 13 at noon. The entry fee is $125.00 per Raft Crew and $35 for If it Floats.

New in 2021 - Captain’s Meeting & Social – Friday, August 27, 2021

New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce
316 South Front Street, New Bern, NC 28560
5:30 to 7:30 pm

Makes plans for you and your team to enjoy a casual evening with the Chamber Staff and The Great Trent River Raft Race Committee.
Captains Meeting, Meet Your Competition, Music, Food & Beverages
An invitation will be emailed to each Captain upon registration. RSVP Will Be Required


There will be 4 Races.

  1. Anything that floats. (Blow-Ups, tubes, cardboard boats, etc.)
  2. Paddle Rafts 
  3. Pedal Rafts
  4. Classic Rafts (invitation only)

Get creative!  Awards for most creative homemade raft and best costumes.

Captain: Bring your crew with their ID's to the  CAPT MEETING. Each person on your team will need to show ID and sign a waiver at this time if they have not already signed one.

Only crew members who have registered on line, and have signed a waiver will be allowed to participate.

Launch your vessel after the Check-in and Inspections have been completed

Raft Race staff will be on-site as early as 9am.  Arrive early to fill out your waivers, or skip the line and download, sign, and bring with you.


Please be ready to launch as soon as the Check-in is over.

There is no limit as to how long the rafts can be,  they should be no wider than 8 ft. and there are no height restriction, however the raft must be able to clear the Alfred Cunningham Bridge.  The bridge will not open for this event other than normal traffic. 

No glass, Styrofoam that is not encapsulated , or empty containers that once held toxic materials may NOT be used to construct your raft. No nails or sharp items may be used below the water line. All vessels must be securely lashed as not to fall apart during the race. All (coolers, etc) must be secured to the raft.  All vessels must have a garbage receptacle (bags are allowed)secured to the vessel. NO TRASH IS TO GO IN THE RIVER.

No motors of any kind are allowed.  Crew members may use paddles, home made sails, or human powered propulsion. A race number will be assigned to each Raft, and Anything that Floats entry. Your number will need to be attached to your vessel in a easy to read location. All vessels will be inspected prior to launching.  Main focus should be safety. 


Final determination of the racecourse will be made on race day!

For Anything that Floats 

Start at Union Point. The course will be determined on race day, depending on weather and wind.

Home-made rafts:

Start at Union Point between stationary Buoy and Gazebo. Head up river to a Buoy #1 near Broad St. Round buoy #1 and go back to starting line and then through the Alfred Cunningham bridge, through the train trestle and to the right around buoy#2 and then around buoy #3. Once around buoy #3 between the train bridge and Trent River Bridge go back to the start-finish line as fast as you can. RACECOURSE COULD CHANGE AT ANY TIME DURING THE EVENT BECAUSE OF WEATHER OR WIND.

RACE may be delayed or canceled at any time due to dangerous weather (ie: Thunder & Lightning or High Winds)dd Safety crews will notify all racers.


Each individual participant must register for this event.  Any participant under 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian.

Every participant must wear a properly fitted Coast-Guard-approved Life Vest at all times on the water. All participants must sign a waiver.  No ALCOHOL is allowed on any of the vessels. The entire route as well as the after-party will be patrolled to curb underage drinking.

A “Dry Bag” with towels is recommended. COSTUMES ARE ENCOURAGED


  1.  All rafts must be of homemade construction.
  2.  All raft entries have a crew size of 1 and a maximum of 20.
  3.  Commercially manufactured hulls are allowed and you will race with the pedal rafts. 
  4. IF IT FLOATS is just what it says. Anything that you want to get out there in that floats, IT RACES!
  5. All vessels must pass completely through the finish line to win a prize. (DO NOT STOP AT THE FINISH LINE)
  6. Inner tubes or inflatable devices are allowed.
  7. Rafts heights must be able to clear the Cunningham bridge. 
  8. Minimum raft size must be able to support the weight of the crew. 
  9. A raft's deck must be securely fastened to a frame and the frame securely fastened to the hulls and or flotation devices.
  10. The use of nails below the water line is prohibited.
  11. Marine rigging such as cleats & rope are acceptable.
  12. All sheet metal raw edges to be turned over or taped.
  13. Any protruding long bolts to be sawed off, filed, and taped.
  14. Please test your raft before the race.
  15. All entries must be solely human powered, or by home made sail.
  16. All entries should be equipped with a suitable anchor and line,  and a suitable towline.
  17. Each participant must have a Coast Guard approved life jacket and must be worn at all times during the race.
  18. Each captain must review protocol for any members who fall overboard.
  19. All crew members should wear appropriate footwear to prevent injuries form submerged sharp objects. (Participants should remain on their vessel when around Union Point because of possible submerged objects.)!!!!!!!!!
  20. No animals allowed on any rafts.
  21. All entries must display their competition number in plain sight and clearly visible at the finish line.
  22. All captains and their crew must remain on board their registered vessel for the entire duration of the race.
  23. All entries must run the entire course under their own power to be eligible for awards.
  24. All entries should have a first aid kit. 
  25. No glass containers allowed at any time.
  26. Each entry should have an adequate supply of drinking water on board for the crew.
  27. All entries should have garbage bags for their own trash. 
  28. No water balloons allowed. Water guns are allowed. 
  29. Any one exhibiting unsafe behavior will be disqualified and could be banned from the event.
  30. No diving off any vessel or jumping into the water at anytime.
  31. All vessels must be removed from the river at the end of the day unless other arrangements have been made. 
  32. Derelict vessels are subject to police action and/or fines.


To be held at Union Point at 4pm.

Awards will go to 1st, 2nd , and 3rd place in each division.

There will also be awards for 1, most creative raft, 2, best costumes in the raft competition, , and 3, broken paddle award for the craft that the judges think deserve some recognition for their struggles. 

The Rules are subject to revision at any time.  Make sure you have downloaded the latest rules before the race. 

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