A GROUP of pub-based Fareham fundraisers have started planning their annual raft race extravaganza across Fareham Creek.

Sponsored teams paddle the short distance across the murky waters in home-made rafts to raise cash for charity.

It's been a happening in Fareham for more than a decade and following the success of last year's race, organisers from the Castle in the Air pub in Old Gosport Road want to get as many people as possible involved in the fun. It's to raise cash for the Portsmouth Hospitals' Rocky Appeal.

Steve Higgins, of the organising committee, said: "We really want to make this year's race a huge event.

"The Rocky Appeal has a new campaign to raise £2m in cancer research which will benefit people from the local area and we want to raise a lot for them.

"Last year we raised £2,500 for charity and had around eight to ten teams. We've also recently raised £5,000 with a sponsored darts event."

As part of the day supporters and friends and families of the different teams have the opportunity to soak up some summer rays armed with a drink at the pub while they cheer on the contenders.

Steve added: "We're going to make a big day of it this year getting local businesses involved and hosting a barbecue, stalls and outside entertainment and a marquee. It should be really good."

The raft race is set to take place on July 9. Any local businesses which would like to get involved or anyone who wants to enter the race should contact pub landlady, Julie White on 01329 280320 or e-mail the committee on barneyfred@madasafish.com