Sunday, 26 September 2021

Goring come up short in annual neighbours clash

BLAZING sunshine drew record crowds to this summer’s Goring and Streatley Regatta.

BLAZING sunshine drew record crowds to this summer’s Goring and Streatley Regatta.

About 2,800 people attended the event last Saturday, eclipsing last year’s total by several hundred, while an unprecedented 40 crews took part in 65 races on a stretch of the Thames at Streatley Farm.

The site, which is just upstream from Cleeve Lock, was extended this year so more people could sit on the riverbank watching the action.

There were races in three classes for men and women and separate events for mixed crews, juniors and children. They included coxed fours, eights and single sculls as well as dongolas, a type of punt crewed by six rowers with canoe paddles.

Goring lost to Streatley in the villages’ annual men’s coxless fours race. The crews’ boats collided midway through and Goring struggled to recover so their opponents claimed an easy win.

Other winners included So Solid Crew, a women’s coxed four, and men’s coxed four Shock And Oar. Both crews had members from Goring.

John Service, a former Henley Royal Regatta announcer, gave the commentary.

The theme for this year was Edwardian England and guests were encouraged to wear traditional dress from the period.

On the bank there were dozens of family attractions including a funfair, an inflatable slide, a live music stage run by Goring Unplugged, food and drink stalls and, for the first time, bungee trampolines for children.

There was also an arena with bird of prey and ferret racing displays as well as a craft tent with an exhibition of photographs and original trophies from the 1895 regatta.

Proceeds from the event, which is organised by Goring Gap Boat Club, will go towards its new £350,000 boathouse near Gatehampton Bridge, on the opposite bank from Goring.

About half the money has been raised and it’s hoped the facility will open next spring and be fully kitted out by early in 2018. A model of the project was on display throughout the event.

Brian Barnes, the club’s regatta chairman, said: “This year was unbelievably successful with very high attendance indeed, no doubt thanks to the fantastic weather. It was very hot and we even sold out of Pimm’s.”

He added: “There was a record number of entries in the children’s section, which is great. We’ve had a lot of feedback saying it was the best regatta yet.”

The regatta was revived in 1992, a year after the boat club formed. It was founded in the late 1880s but cancelled at the outbreak of the First World War and remained dormant for almost 80 years.

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