ONE OF Hampshire’s biggest spectacles is taking to the water again after a one-year gap caused by bad weather.

The Great Waterside Raft Race takes place tomorrow<SUN>, with a wacky collection of homemade rafts tackling a square-shaped course between Hythe Marina Village and the pier.

At least 1,000 spectators are expected to line the foreshore to watch the action and see who gets a soaking.

Launched more than three decades ago the fun-filled event is organised by the Hythe and Calshot branch of the RNLI and in 2017 raised almost £8,000 for the life-saving charity.

Last year’s race was cancelled just 48 hours before it was due to take place.

Organisers scrapped the contest after forecasters warned that the county would be battered by heavy rain and strong winds, sparking fears that rafts, tents and marquees would come to grief in the stormy conditions.

Tomorrow’s event will take place between 10am and 2pm.

An RNLI spokesman said: “It’s one of the few raft races that are held on the sea, which adds an element of excitement not found in river races.

“The course is set out between Hythe Marina and Hythe Pier and is always held between the two high tides unique to the Solent area.”

The six-race event will include contests for decorated rafts and racing craft, plus events for all-female crews and pubs, with teams trying to take the trophy away from Ebeneezer’s, who have won it every year since its introduction.

A junior contest for sailors aged 17 and under will be followed by a handicap race with a staggered start.

TV historian Dan Snow, who lives nearby, will present trophies and medals to the race winners.