Sudbury International Regatta spotlight

Martin Gough looks at fun river regattas in the latest Rowing & Regatta, including Sudbury Regatta on 4 August, where the prizes are hotly contested

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On the riverbank at Sudbury (c) Simon Way

Racing at traditional river regattas is not just about the competition – it’s about getting into the summer festival spirit and Sudbury International Regatta should be high on everyone’s regatta bucket list.  The 2018 competition is taking place on Saturday, 4 August.

Nestled just within Suffolk, Sudbury is a classic market-town regatta, with a hog roast, jazz band, bouncy castles, locally brewed beer, home-made cakes and straw bales to sit on while eating, drinking or watching the racing.

Each year Henley hands out over 100 winners’ medals but there are only 27 Sudbury hip flasks!

It is a great regatta for young or old – they once timetabled a J13 and his grandfather in successive races – but what regularly comes up when rowers talk about Sudbury is the prizes.

“Last year a squad entered who boasted 12 winners’ medals from Henley,” says Andrew Blit, a Sudbury member who umpires and commentates around the region. “I asked them why they wanted to come to Sudbury and they said, ‘Each year Henley hands out over 100 winners’ medals but there are only 27 Sudbury hip flasks!’”

Apparently the J14 champion of Belgium raced there recently, fully justifying the ‘International’ title.

Blit adds: “The Stour valley has to be one of the most charming settings in the country and our meadow is full of happy, sunburnt competitors, families and spectators at the end of the day.”

Entries open soon so keep an eye out here.

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