POOLE’S wackiest race featuring bathtubs and handmade vessels is returning to Poole Quay as part of New Year’s celebrations.

The annual event sees creative crews take to the water to race for charity with hundreds of on-lookers cheering them on.

Crowds will gather from the start point, at the pontoons east of Poole Bridge, down to the finish line by the Fish Shambles, west of Poole Quay Boat Haven.

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The event, organised by Poole Harbour Commissioners and BCP Tourism, has been taking place for over 40 years and attracts teams decked out in fancy dress.

This year’s race will kick off at 10.30am on January 1, 2024, but crews are encouraged to arrive at the launch point in Ferry Road between 9.30am and 10.15am for registration.

Each year the race raises money for charitable causes with 2024’s race fundraising for the RNLI.

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A classic car show will also be taking place on the day with around 100 cars on display by the quay.

Cllr Millie Earl, portfolio holder for connected communities said: “The New Year’s Bath Tub Race on Poole Quay is always an extremely popular event and a fun way to start the New Year.

“I have no doubt we will see some colourful and unique vessels racing in the water on 1 January.

"This year’s event aims to raise money for the RNLI, a very worthy cause.

“There will also be up to 100 classic cars parked along the quay, and I encourage everyone to come down and join in the fun.”

Around 3,000 people attend the event each year with many people making it a New Year’s tradition.

During 2023’s race Bel Noyes told the Echo she had taken part in the race for 15 years and said she did not win ‘but it was great’.

Anyone over 18 years old can enter the event but must wear appropriate clothing and provide their own life jacket.

Forms to sign up crews for the race can be found on the Poole Tourism website under ‘Poole’s New Year’s Day Bath Race & Classic Cars on the Quay’.