01:00PM, Wednesday 14 August 2019
Water sport lovers were left disappointed at the weekend after bad weather forecasts forced organisers of the Maidenhead Regatta and Thames Punting Championships to call them off.
Strong winds were to blame for both events’ cancellations.
Maidenhead Rowing Club pulled the plug on the annual regatta the day before, after warning earlier in the week that it would review the forecast ahead of the event, which was scheduled for Saturday.
The chairman of the club’s regatta committee, Alan Bird, said: “It is frustrating that everything was good to go and the weather changes.”
But he said enough money has been raised to help with the costs of the regatta – which can total £10,000 to put on – and a barbeque held in lieu of the event was a success.
And he was heartened by the support from businesses involved in the event.
“All of the people who provided services waived those costs with the exception of one or two,” he said.
The regatta cannot be rescheduled because of the time-consuming logistics behind it, Alan added, but he hoped the ‘goodwill’ accumulated with other rowing clubs would remain into next year.
There were more athletes and clubs scheduled for this year than ever before.
The Thames Punting Championships was due to take place on Sunday, when the weather looked to be getting better, but the Thames Punting Club felt gusts of more than 30mph were too much of a risk to the safety of racers.
A statement on the club’s website said: “With luck things will return to normal next year and to all those that were competing and planning on attending this year we hope to see you next year.”
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