PADDLES at the ready as the popular Poole annual charity bath race returns to kick-off 2020 in dramatic fashion.

The established event will take over the quay for the traditional New Year's Day spectacular on the water.

Crews will launch their homemade crafts before setting off in a chaotic race from the pontoons east of Poole Bridge and finishing by the Fish Shambles steps west of Poole Quay Boat Haven.

The action will see entrants power along the quay from The Customs House Steps to the Lord Nelson – and there is still time to enter.

The event is organised by Poole Harbour Commissioners and BCP Tourism and supported by Bar Soho.

Graham Richardson, BCP tourism liaison manager, said: “This is a great annual charity event that is always popular with the whole community which this year is raising money for the RNLI. Quirky and unique: it really is a fun time for all the family – not just those taking part but for the spectators watching on the quayside too.

“We are still taking entries for the 2020 race so if this is something you’d like to take part in please do apply. Application forms are available from the Poole Tourism website or from Bar Soho adjacent to the quay.

“It is the thrills and mischief that make this event so popular and one that shouldn’t be missed.”

Harbour master captain Brian Murphy said: "The annual bathtub race is a popular family event and a great start to the New Year, we’re delighted to be involved once again. With the support of many local businesses and organisations such as Jenkins Marine and the RNLI, our role is to look after waterside safety.

"We encourage anyone that would like to participate to register their entry and ask that they help to keep our harbour and shipping channels hazard-free by clearing any debris at the end of the race."

The race starts at 11am, with teams and vessels expected to arrive at the launch point in Ferry Road between 10am and 10.45am for registration and safety checks.

All participants must wear appropriate clothing and a suitable personal buoyancy aid. Self-inflating life jackets will not be permitted.

The registration form can be found at