St Neots Regatta latest victim of the rain

It is with real sadness that St Neots Rowing Club had to take the decision to cancel its two-day regatta planned for the weekend of 21-22 July.  The regatta meadow where the event is run from is just too waterlogged to allow access of any sort, and the river is flowing too fast.  Added to which the weather forecast for the coming week won’t allow the meadow to dry out sufficiently, and it would be unsafe to run the regatta.

This would have been a bumper regatta for the club as there were many new sponsors  keen to support some 450 races across the weekend.  And the entry was over-subscribed so there were clearly many clubs wanting to compete. 

The club has received many messages from clubs who were looking forward to the weekend, including Isle of Ely whose captain said that they all look forward to our regatta, ‘not only for the excellent racing but it’s one of the nicest regattas on the circuit – well organised, brilliant atmosphere, not to mention Pimms O’Clock announcements – a very empty next weekend – such a shame!  But, although a hard decision, nice to see that as expected, St Neots looking out for the safety and enjoyment of all involved’. 

Peterborough Rowing Club’s John Canton commented, ‘this is indeed very sad news and it is extraordinary how many events have fallen victim to the weather this year. Our members look forward to your regatta and it is always our biggest turn-out away from home. I can appreciate that this will also be a blow to your club which I know works very hard to run what is a major regatta weekend.’

This is the latest in a series of rowing events that have had to be cancelled during the 2012 sprint racing season and it is very frustrating for both seasoned and novice rowers of all ages.  St Neots’ ladies novice four are particularly frustrated as they were hoping to lose their novice status at their home regatta this year.

Many hours have already been put in by the club’s regatta committee to plan and co-ordinate the weekend, but they will re-group and begin planning next year’s regatta with all fingers very much crossed for better weather.

Efforts will now be focused on planning the Small Boats Head Races taking place on Sunday 7 October as the next fundraising opportunity for the club, albeit on a smaller scale.

The club would like to thank all those sponsors who had come forward to support their local rowing club and we hope to be able to work with them as we look ahead to the 2013 regatta.

Club Chairman Edward Porteus said, ‘The regatta is the most important event of the year for our club and having to cancel is a major blow.  It is a very popular event and crews travel some distance to take part.  It is the biggest fund-raiser for the club, generating much needed income to maintain the boathouse and boats, and losing this income is devastating.’