A team of rafters are supporting the RNLI and Devon Air Ambulance by taking on five races this year. 

Last Sunday, June 4th, the team took on their second race of five, held in Looe, Cornwall, where they placed 10th out of 21 starters.

The team, ’heatgrime’, is made up of Dave Balsdon - transport co-ordinator, technician Mark Bossons, Mike Rutkowski - captain and co-ordinator, and Ben Stone. Guest rafter Rob Bigwood took part in the race at the Barbican on May 14th, where the team came in second.

The team’s next race is held during the Kingsbridge Fair Week on Sunday, August 20th. The fourth is Frogmore Regatta and the fifth is the Dart Struggle on October 1st.

The teams final race, The Dart Struggle is set to live up to its name. The race tracks over nine miles from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. Last year, 48 rafts entered and ’heatgrime’ came 19th in just over four hours. They are hoping for a top ten finish this year. 

Rob Bigwood will be competing against the heat grime team in the next race at Kingsbridge Fair Week, as he will be racing with his colleagues from the Royal Mail, so the crew are looking for another guest rafter for the other races.

Mike said: “We built the raft ourselves, but its all been risk assessed for the RNLI so we can raise money for them, so its as safe as it can be. Any potential guest rafters would be given all the kit and be taken out on a trial raft on a Wednesday or Thursday night.”

Talking about where the name ‘heatgrime’ came from, Mike jokingly explained that last year, the team were sponsored by a local pub, but that Mike has “had a little falling out with them” so they have made an anagram of the name, coming up with ‘heatgrime’.

The team are looking for sponsors to support the RNLI and the Devon Air Ambulance, so far they have raised around £320, but are aiming to raise £1,000. 

You can donate to the causes by using the JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/heatgrime or through the website: www.heatgrime.co.uk