Sunday, 21 April 2019

Regatta to have more races for children

THE Goring and Streatley Regatta will return on Saturday, July 20 following a two-year absence.

The family rowing event was called off last year because the Goring Gap Boat Club, which organises it, was too busy completing its new £350,000 clubhouse, which opened just after Christmas.

From now on it will be held every other year rather than annually in order to avoid clashes with the biennial Gap Festival, which will held in the regatta’s year off.

It will take place at the usual site on the western bank of the River Thames, just upstream from Cleeve Lock, and will admit children under 16 free of charge for the first time.

There are several new additions for younger rowers including baby dragon boat racing, which is open to crews of five children aged nine to 15 with an adult supervising.

Racing will take place throughout the day with a grand final at the end.

There will also be “crafty raft races” for crews of up to five, aged over nine, who will race against each other in home-made rafts that they will build under adult guidance on the morning.

Meanwhile, adults can enter four-strong crews of all men, all women or two of each at beginner, intermediate or advanced level.

Entries open on March 31 and the fee is £100 for a boat, including up to four training sessions provided by the boat club.

Crews will be accepted on a first come, first served basis and are guaranteed to race at least twice as there will be a second race for losers of the opening heats.

There will be family attractions on the bank including a fun fair, stalls selling food and goods, a bar and live music stage organised by Goring Unplugged. Visitors can also hire gazebos at the water’s edge from which to watch the racing.

Lorraine Slade, the club’s co-chairwoman, said: “We’re really glad to be back. We did miss it last year, of course, but we were very busy with the boathouse and it’s nice to be organising some rowing again.

“We’re allowing children in free because we want more families to be involved and with the all the new children’s events it’s going to be quite a big change.”

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