Event Details


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


June 22, 2024 (Rain or Shine)

8:00AM until 10:30AM  Check In, Inspections and Launching

All vessels will launch from Union Point Park.

Everyone must be unloaded and launched no later than 10:30 a.m.

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

3:30 PM or (30 minutes after the SUNSHINE FLOTILLA)

Awards Ceremony at Union Point Park (Hospitality Tent Stage)

Participants may register for the race at www.TheGreatTrentRiverRaftRace.com

All participants must sign a GTRRR Release and Waiver form.

SUNSHINE FLOTILLA participants MUST register but do not need to sign or submit the GTRRR Release and Waiver form. The is NO FEE to participate! Immediately following the last race of the day (Classic Race)….it will be announced that all registered need to line up by Persimmons Restaurant. At the sound of the cannon the parade will begin. In a formation line all boats will travel “SLOWLY” passed the Union Point Park waterfront and move back out into the river once you have completely your voyage. Those on the waterfront at Union Point Park will have the opportunity to “MAKE SOME NOISE” for their favorite vessel. The winner will be announced immediately following the last entry. A cash prize of $100 and a Winning Trophy will be given to the WINNER! One of our Safety Crew will deliver your winnings to your vessel!

All entries must register before June 17, 2024, or before entry slots are filled. The entry fee is $125.00 per Raft Crew, and $35.00 for Anything that Floats



There will be 5 Races. (The New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce & the Official Raft Race Committee will determine the race each raft or anything that floats will participate in).

Please Note:  ALL Commercial Manufactured Hulls will race in the Peddle Division.


  1. Anything That floats. ( Floats, blow-ups, tubes, plastic jugs, cardboard boats)

4 people per entry – If your float requires more people, you must pay a second entry fee Canoes, Kayaks & Stand-Up Paddle Boards are prohibited to participate in Anything That Floats.  If you are unsure, please contact Teresa Suhrie @ 252-637-3111

  1. Paddle Rafts
  2. Peddle Rafts
  3. Classic Rafts
  4. Sunshine Flotilla (new this year)

Get creative! Cash Prizes for most creative homemade raft, best costumes. and The People’s Choice Award!

The SUNSHINE FLOTILLA participants will ONLY be competing in their individual flotilla….not the Racers Prizes & Awards



Plan to bring your crew with you to the CAPTAIN’S MEETING & SOCIAL on Friday, June 22 at the New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce (Invitations will be emailed). Each person on your team will need to show ID and sign a release/waiver at this time if they have not already signed one.

Only crew members who have registered online and signed a waiver will be allowed to participate on Saturday morning.

If your crew would like to bring guest with them the charge for additional guest is: $20 per person (includes food, non-alcoholic beverages, beer, wine and entertainment.

If you are unable to attend the Captain’s Meeting & Social on Friday, June 21, please plan to arrive early at Union Point Park. Upon check in please have your signed waivers and Id in hand  (You may download the form online for your convenience)

Please be ready to launch as soon as your Check-in is complete.


  • There are no length limits as to how long the rafts can be.
  • Rafts should be no wider than 8 ft.
  • Rafts should be no taller than 13 ft.

Note:  Vertical Clearance with the Alfred Cunningham Bridge CLOSED is 14.00 feet.

  • The bridge will not open for this race.
  • 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 and loose items must be secured to the raft.
  • All vessels must have a garbage receptacle (bags are allowed)secured to the vessel.
  • No motors of any kind are allowed.
  • Crew members may use paddles, homemade sails, or human powered propulsion.
  • A race number will be assigned to each Raft and all Anything that Floats entries.
  • Your number will be provided for you and must be attached to your vessel in a visible easy to read location.
  • All vessels will be inspected prior to launching.



Final determination of the race course will be decided on race day and may be changed at any time throughout the race due to inclement weather or any emergency situations.

In the event of inclement weather (i.e.: heavy rain, thunder, lightning and/or high winds) the race will stop immediately, and all vessels will return to the docks until the storm passes.

All races will include both the Neuse and Trent Rivers. There will be a well-defined Start/Finish Line.  Race courses may vary depending on each individual race & weather. The exact race course will be available the night of the Captain’s Meeting & Social and will also be added to the website www.thegreattrentriverraftrace no later than the week of the race.

NOTE: RACE could be delayed or canceled at any time due to dangerous weather (i.e.: Heavy Rain, Thunder, Lightning and/or High Winds)

Water Safety crews will notify all racers & announcements shall be made from the Start/Finish Line to return to the docks.


  • Each individual participant must register for this event.
  • All participants must sign a waiver.
  • Any participant under 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Every participant is required to wear a proper fitted Coast Guard approved Life Vest at all times while on the water.
  • No ALCOHOL is allowed on any of the vessels.
  • The race course will be patrolled at all times
  • A “Dry Bag” with towels are recommended.



  1. All rafts must be of homemade construction.
  2. All raft entries have a crew size of 1 and maximum of 14
  3. All vessels must pass completely through the finish line to win a prize.


  1. Innertubes or inflatable devices are allowed in Anything That Floats.
  2. Rafts should be no taller than 13 ft. The bridge will not open for this race.
  3. Minimum raft size must be able to support the weight of the crew.
  4. The rafts deck must be securely fastened to a frame and the frame securely

fastened to the hulls and or flotation devices.

  1. The use of nails below the water line is prohibited.
  2. Marine rigging such as cleats & rope are acceptable.
  3.  All sheet metal raw edges to be turned over or taped.
  4. Any protruding long bolts are to be sawed off, filed, and taped.
  5. Please test your raft before the race.
  6. All entries must be solely human powered, or by homemade sail.
  7. All entries should be equipped with a suitable anchor with line and towline.
  8. Each participant must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket at all times during the race.
  1. As a precaution, in case someone was to fall overboard we ask that ALL crew members wear appropriate footwear to prevent injuries from submerged sharp objects that may be in the river.
  1. Participants should remain on their vessels at all times.
  2. There is a large unsafe rock jetty line surrounding Union Point Park… do NOT allow your rafts to drift or float towards the fence line at any time. Only plan to utilize the appropriate designated docks at Union Point Park.
  1. No animals allowed on any rafts.
  2. All entries must display their competition number in plain sight and clearly visible at the start/finish line.
  1. All entries must run the entire course under human power to be eligible for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place prizes and awards
  1. All entries should have a first aid kit on board
  2. No glass containers allowed at any time.
  3. Each entry should have an adequate supply of drinking water on board for the crew.
  1. No water balloons allowed. Water guns are encouraged!
  2. Any one exhibiting unsafe behavior will be disqualified and could be banned from the race and/or future races.
  1. No diving or jumping from any raft into the water at any time.
  2. All vessels must be removed from the river at the end of the day unless Prior approval and other arrangements have been made.
  3.   Derelict vessels are subject to police action and/or fines.

THE AWARDS CELEBRATION: 3:30 to 5:00 pm 

 Location is at the Hospitality Tent Stage After the Awards please make plans to stay. Foam Party for the kids and adults Special Performance by the Cypress Lake Band

To be held at Union Point at 3:30 PM or 30 minutes after the SUNSHINE FLOTILLA is complete

Cash Prizes & Awards will be awarded  to 1st, 2nd  and 3rd place winners in each division.

Additional Awards will be given to the following categories.

  1. Most Creative Raft: in the entire Race Competition
  2. Best costumes: in the entire Race Competition
  3. Broken paddle award for the vessel that the judges determine deserve recognition for their struggles and not giving up
  4. People’s Choice Award, the spectators will vote and choose the winner of this prestigious award – the best raft and the best crew that interacted with the spectators both on land and on the water. (online voting and in person voting at the park)

NOTE:  The Rules are subject to revision at any time.

(The website will be updated should any rules changes – make sure you download the most recent rules before you leave home on Saturday morning)





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