Fancy dress pirates and Greek warriors will have to find somewhere else to invade this year after organisers of the annual Praa Sands Raft Race announced it was taking a break.

The event, which sees participants dress up as pirates and take to sea on ramshackle homemade rafts, has raised £28,346 for ShelterBox over the last six years.

The charity’s events officer Lucy Holden said: “We were astonished when we totalled up the amount raised over the last six years – a truly amazing £28,346. Just think how many people we have been able to help in disaster zones worldwide as a result of this family-friendly event in a small Cornish seaside community.

“It really has been a great success, but it also takes a lot of organising by a handful of enthusiasts in Praa Sands.

“We are so grateful for their support over the years, and fully understand their need to draw breath in 2014. Hopefully the Pirate Raft Race will return, bigger and better than ever.”

The race, between fancy-dressed teams in eccentric sea-craft, has been held over a weekend in August, with a Pirate Party on the Saturday night before proving just as popular as the Sunday race itself.

Last year a flotilla of around 30 rafts took part, including a giant colourful piñata shaped like a horse, a dragon, and a legion of Roman centurions.

Lucy added: “In particular ShelterBox wants to thank organisers Carol Crow and Shane Mcgroggan, their sponsors Roskilly’s, Fugro Seacore and Brandon Tool Hire, and local businesses and community such as Norman Coward – owner of the car parks – the Sandbar and The Beachcomber Café for their valuable support of the event.

“It has been hard work, but it has brought great pleasure to everyone. And, of course, its real value is in showing Cornwall’s generosity to families in need all over the world.”