Friday, 10 July 2020

Another regatta cancelled

THE Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers say it would not be possible to hold this year’s event on Friday and Saturday, August 7 and 8 while complying with social distancing rules.

Honorary secretary Peter Symons said: “It is with the deepest of regret that we have decided to cancel this year’s regatta.

“As an open-access riverside event, it would be all-but impossible for us to ensure that social distancing be maintained at all times in the regatta enclosure.

“In making this decision, we have also undertaken a wide-reaching financial analysis. This confirmed that any other decision in these troubled times could expose the regatta to an unacceptable level of risk to the medium and longer term health of the event.

“Above all, though, the need to prioritise the health and safety of our subscribers, competitors, spectators, staff, contractors, suppliers and volunteers has been our primary concern.

“We remain keenly aware of wider public health implications and our responsibility to support society’s efforts to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

“The committee wishes to express its thanks and deepest respect for the heroic efforts of health workers and those working so hard to help us through these difficult times.”

Last year, 475 crews took part in 362 races at the 152nd annual regatta, which is held on the River Thames off Mill Lane, Shiplake.

Next year’s event will be held on August 6 and 7.

Mr Symons said: “Our rafts, our boats and our best intentions will be given an extended rest until the summer of 2021 when we will be back in full force.

“Of course, these plans will necessarily focus on cost savings and overcoming a loss of income from not staging the regatta in 2020.

“Like any charity, we have significant annual fixed costs, including boat and equipment storage, boat maintenance and insurance, and we depend on the year-on-year support of the Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta community to meet these.”

For more information, visit wsregatta.co.uk

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