Monday, 08 August 2022

Record crowd as regatta returns with more attractions

MORE than 2,000 people visited this year‘s Goring and Streatley Regatta.

MORE than 2,000 people visited this year‘s Goring and Streatley Regatta.

About 35 crews, many of whom were novices, took part in the racing on the River Thames on Saturday.

Goring Gap Boat Club, which organises the event, said this year‘s attendance was a record after last year‘s regatta event was cancelled due to flooding.

All 2,00 entry tickets were taken at the gate so additional visitors were waved through without one.

The regatta took place on a stretch of the river at Streatley Farm, a short distance upstream from Cleeve Lock.

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.

Among the winners were a men‘s coxed four from Phyllis Court Rowing Club in Henley, who won the Arthur Salter Memorial Trophy after beating Goring Gap Boat Club in the final.

The trophies were presented by Olympian Richard Lester, who lives in High Street, Goring.

Mr Lester, a steward of Henley Royal Regatta, was part of a GB men‘s eight that won silver at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

On the bank there were dozens of family attractions including an inflatable slide, a funfair, falconry and bird of prey displays and a live acoustic stage run by Goring Unplugged.

The historic steamer

, which was built by Goring engineer Sam Saunders in 1898, gave river trips throughout the day. Children from Goring Drama Club and youth theatre company Nx-Gen gave performances dressed as pirates.

Proceeds from the regatta will go towards the club‘s new £350,000 boathouse near Gatehampton Bridge, just outside Goring.

Chairman Hugh Baker-Smith said: “This year‘s regatta was hugely successful on a number of levels.

“We don‘t know exactly how many people turned up but the beer and wine tent had sold out by the early evening, which is a good sign.

“This year we spent a lot more on entertainment, which is a big part of the draw for many people. We also ran a free minibus service and that encouraged people to come.

“We faced an interesting dilemma when a crew hit the finishing post instead of crossing the line and we had to decide whether that counted. In the end, we decided it did.“

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