A SPONSORED row and boat race spectacular will be raising money for a vital lifesaving team this month.

The Sponsored Row and Gig Race 2019 will see hundreds of boat-lovers and spectators gather at Maldon’s Hythe Quay on Saturday, December 28.

The race features teams of rowers racing in festive fancy dress to raise money for the RNLI.

Previous years’ events have seen participating rowers dress up in anything from Christmas outfits to cute animal onesies.

A spokesman said: “If the weather is kind over the Christmas holiday and you are looking for a family outing to Maldon’s popular Hythe Quay and Prom Park, come and watch a rowing spectacular which has taken place to raise funds for the lifeboats for over 40 years.

“Maldon Little Ship Club is hosting the event and we hope for a large turnout of crews ranging from kayaks, paddleboards and dinghies through to the four-man rowing gigs which race enthusiastically for the trophies on offer.

“Fancy dress is also encouraged to help complete the fun of the event and the West Mersea lifeboat usually puts in an appearance unless it is on a run.”

The fun begins at noon with crews preparing for a 12.30pm start off the Viking Saga Jetty.

The gigs take off first, rowing down river as far as the Blackwater Sailing Club before returning to the prom.

The smaller boats turn at the end of the prom then row to Fullbridge before finishing at a large committee boat anchored opposite the quay.

The spokesman added: “The crews all raise sponsorship for the RNLI and collectors with buckets can be found along the prom and quay giving spectators the opportunity to make their own contribution to the event.

“The sponsored row is a great opportunity for spectators to enjoy both the high spring tide and the heritage of rowing as the river becomes alive with craft during the gloom of winter.”

The race raised a total of £10,300 for the RNLI when it was held in 2018.

To find out more about the event, contact John Rogers on 01621 853841 or email diana.rogers2@btinternet.com.