THOUSANDS gathered on the banks of the River Dee last weekend to watch the 46th annual Chester Raft Race, with dozens of crafts taking on the quarter mile route.

An annual charity event, the Chester Raft Race took place at 10am on Sunday, July 2 with funds being raised for SHARE - Supporting Homeless Assisting Refugees Everywhere. Rafts made their way from the Chester Meadows under the suspension bridge and along to the Groves. Raft construction begins at 9am on the morning of the event, with each team tasked with assembling their craft ahead of the starting gun.

This year's theme was superheroes, prompting plenty of colourful spandex costumes, capes and a few Batmobiles.

More than 20 rafts from groups from across Chester took part with the likes of Stagecoach's Chester Depot, Deepbridge Capital, previous winners Crocky Trail, FCA Wales, BOST, and the Old Harkers Arms all represented.

The Leader:

Overall champions of this year's event were The Pigeons of Madagascar with their Thunderbirds-themed raft - in the shape of Thunderbird 2, for fans of the show - and full Thunderbirds uniforms, complete with Lady Penelope. The overall winner is scored based on both time and theme, with 70 percent weighting on time and 30 percent weighting on theme.

The Leader: The superhero theme saw plenty of colourful costumes.The superhero theme saw plenty of colourful costumes. (Image: Welshie Dale via Camera Club)

The race is accompanied by a host of family-friendly activities, live music and food and drinks stalls to ensure that visitors can make a day of the event.

The Raft Race has raised over £500,000 for good causes over its lifetime with an average of 4,000 visitors coming to watch the event each year.

All fees paid by competing teams are donated to the event's charity partner. The Chester Raft Race was sponsored by Salt Town Contractors.