ONE of Hampshire's wackiest fundraising events has been axed for the second time in two years.

The Great Waterside Raft Race, which attracts thousands of spectators, is among the latest events to be cancelled as result of the Corvid-19 crisis.

The contest was due to take place in August but has been scrapped by the Hythe and Calshot branch of the RNLI.

In a statement the branch said: "All planned events for 2020 are now cancelled, including the Great Waterside Raft Race. We will just have to come back next year, bigger and better!"

The decision is another blow to organisers and supporters of the event, which is staged between Hythe Marina Village and Hythe Pier.

The 2018 contest was cancelled a short notice after weather forecasters warned that the county was about be battered by heavy rain and strong winds, sparking fears that rafts, tents and marquees would come to grief in the stormy conditions.

It bounced back last summer but will not now return until the summer of 2021.

Widely regarded as one of Hampshire's biggest spectacles the event involves a bizarre collection of homemade craft tackling a square shaped course. Spectators line the foreshore to watch the action and see the teams get a soaking.

The Great Waterside Raft Race, which actually a series of races, raises about £8,000 for the RNLI every year.

It includes contests for decorated rafts and racing craft, plus events for all-female crews and pubs, with teams trying to take the watering hole trophy from the Ebeneezer’s team, who have won it every year since its introduction.

Last year the trophies were presented by TV historian Dan Snow, who lives a few miles from Hythe.