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Friday, 23 April 2021
THE 150th annual Wargrave and Shiplake
More than 700 people took part in 365 races on the River Thames on Friday and Saturday with classes including sculling, skiffing, punting and canoeing.
The event was hit by rainstorms on the second day and racing was suspended for half an hour when lightning was seen nearby.
The delay meant that racing was running almost an hour behind schedule for the final events.
However, when the sun appeared later in the afternoon, hundreds of spectators set up picnic tables and gazebos in order to enjoy the action while many others watched from their own boats on the water.
They included Wargrave vicar John Cook, who was ferried across the water on a garden chair tied to the front of a boat.
To mark the anniversary, an old canoe was decorated with flowers and a floral display in the shape of the number 150 was on
The racing took place on a stretch of the river between Shiplake railway bridge and land off Ferry Lane in Wargrave and the competitors included many who had taken part in previous years.
A children’s crew, who were dressed in purple wigs for the heats of the junior
Mr Karlsson also won the Vassal Adams Trophy for most stylish punting.
STBC won the Thames
Mr Huston said: “It was a lot harder work this year and we weren’t as fast as last time but having a great crew helps.”
A crew called King Dongola, comprising Barnaby and Joanna Brown, Amanda Walden, Paul Nash, Drew McNaughton and Sunil Sha, was taking part for the first time since 1998 when they won the junior
A crew called The Coffin Dodgers won the veteran
Mr Robinson said: “We have been doing it for 10 years but this is the first time we’ve been veterans. We had two races and the first one was in the afternoon so we got a bit wet but that’s just what happens.”
Christine Hillier won the ladies’ single punting and teamed up with Matthew Gordon to claim victory in the doubles.
David Gillard and Rory Copus won a double sculling skiff double, partnering Peter Lowe in the men’s race and teaming up with Peter Jacobs in the veteran men’s event.
A new event was held to mark the regatta’s anniversary. The Jubilee
Competitors were encouraged to dress up and medals were awarded for the best fancy dress.
Costumes included ducks, bees and bananas and the winners, The Heebeejeebees, were dressed as characters from The Flintstones.
Peter Symons, the regatta’s honorary secretary, said: “The 150th regatta was, quite simply, better than ever — great racing on both days, great crowds, lots of smiles all around and even the weather decided to smile most of the time.
“It wasn’t without its challenges. There was the unscheduled stoppage for lightning, a 365-strong race programme that challenged everyone’s powers of organisation and a special event, the Jubilee
“Racing was suspended and all competitors were taken off the water for more than 30 minutes.
“Inevitably, this knocked on and turned the 30-minute stoppage into the best part of an hour delay and we were racing to catch up.
“It was just one of those things. It was a great regatta and everything we wanted the 150th to be.
“At the end of the
• Although the regatta was celebrating its official 150th anniversary, it could be older as the only documented proof of its age is
Watch our video of the event here:
11 August 2017
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