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GALLERY: Rain does not dampen spirits as Stratford Regatta returns with a bang

NOT even the heavy rain could dampen the spirits of all those who made their way to the River Avon for the much-anticipated return of the Stratford Regatta on Saturday.

Rowers from up and down the country flocked to the town to take part in the Stratford Boat Club showpiece which was being run, in full, for the first time since 2019.

Alongside the major entries from Stratford, the other clubs that braved the waters included Evesham, Worcester, AB Severn (Tewkesbury), Cheltenham College, Dragon School, King Edward The Sixth School, King’s School Worcester, Magdalen College School, Nottingham and Union, Ross Rowing Club and Worcester Royal Grammar School.

The Stratford Regatta is a staple in the boat club’s calendar and to mark its return there was a bumper schedule with 163 races taking place across 37 events, with it all getting under way at 8.30am and finishing at 5.45pm.

Although the weather could have been better, there was a healthy cohort of spectators that lined the Recreation Ground and Bancroft Gardens to take in the hard-fought races. The heavens opened just after 1pm but that did not stop the rowers, club officials and spectators from enjoying proceedings.

Speaking to the Herald about the importance of the regatta on the boat club calendar, chairman Dawson Curnock said: “It was great for the club and the athletes to get the regatta back to its normal position in the calendar. It enabled us to get more of the schools involved and a good selection of new athletes as well. It was really good to see people we have not seen in years.”

He added: “The regatta is crucial to the club because it is a big fundraiser for us that provides revenue for new equipment purchases. It shows off the club to Stratford and all the visitors that come here.

“It’s massively important for us and we’re glad it was back in June where it deserved to be.”

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