LOCALS and visitors donned fancy dress to raise almost £5,000 for the RNLI at the annual West Bay raft race.

This year's event attracted entry from 19 teams, who battled their way down the River Brit while spectators looking on from the Harbour.

Participants created their themed rafts, before launching them into the water and hoping they remain afloat.

The race was started by mayor of Bridport, Cllr Anne Rickard, and first home to win the Eric Hamblett Trophy was the 'Dirty Oars' team from Yeovil Audi, led by skipper Tim Hooker.

Bridport Round Table took second place with its raft, 'Hung Parliament'. Thunderbird 2, led by skipper Bob Ahrens won the best dressed raft, while the most entertaining was judged as 'Cyclepaths' from Eype House Caravan House, skippered by David Ellis.

Bridport company Hucks Nets took the title for the highest sponsorship total.

Annie Taylor, organiser of the RNLI raft race, said: "People love it because it's such a quirky event, it's a lot of fun and it is for the RNLI. It's all for a good cause, for the lifeboats.

"The top sponsorship was an absolutely amazing £1,503, it was brilliant. The team that did that was raft four - The A Team from Huck Netts in Bridport.

"The Thunderbird was an amazing craft - they all were. There was one called Moby Dickers that was a good one, as well as Oscar's Wine Bar and the young farmers with their Moo Cruise."

A total of £4,830 was tallied up for the RNLI, an improvement on last year's total of £3,780.

The organisers would like to thank harbour master James Radcliffe, Mike Stoodley, Ivor bending, Rick Willis and his team, the George Hotel, Anne Rickard, the RNLI team and their helpers, as well as all the locals and visitors.

Ms Taylor added: "The visitors and locals have supported us generously and without them, it simply wouldn't happen."