PREPARATIONS for Saturday’s Lodders Stratford Boat Club Regatta are now all but complete as excitement continues to build ahead of the big day.
Jobs have been allocated, the grounds and building have been tidied up, rowing and sculling blades have been painted and boats checked to competition standard.
“A lot of hard work goes into planning the regatta. We’ve already put up our marquees and got in stocks for our barbecue and tea tent from local suppliers,” said regatta secretary Stephen Rose.
“Additional furniture, equipment and services have to be hired and this is why we’re so delighted Lodders Solicitors is our main sponsor.”
The regatta has been taking place in Stratford since 1879 and, as well as Stratford’s own crews, the event draws competitors – able-bodied and adaptive – and their supporters from clubs including Abingdon Rowing Club, Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School Rowing Club, Cardiff & Vale Schools Rowing Academy, Evesham Rowing Club, Hereford Cathedral School, King Edward VI School Boat Club, King’s School Worcester Boat Club, Ross Rowing Club and Royal Grammar School Worcester Boat Club.
Racing is on the town stretch of the river from Holy Trinity Church to the club grounds by The Tramway Bridge. As well as the rowing contingent, the regatta attracts a lot of interest from visitors to the town who come down to Bancroft Gardens and the Recreation Ground to enjoy the racing, barbecue and the beer and tea tent in the club grounds which are open to all. Racing will start by 8am and finish around 6.30pm with 137 entries this year.
Paul Hazelwood, Stratford Boat Club treasurer, said: “The regatta and also the Fun Regatta on Saturday, July 13 are very weather-dependent events and without our sponsors we couldn’t risk holding the regattas.
“We are also amazingly lucky to have help from other river organisations such as Avon Navigation Trust, Sea Cadets, Avon Boating, Environment Agency, Bancroft Cruisers, Canal & River Tours, the Countess of Evesham and also the co-operation of those who make their living on the river.”
Club president Paul Stanton added: “Stratford Boat Club looks forward to welcoming competing crews, VIPs and guests and especially Stratford and Warwickshire residents and visitors to the town to watch and enjoy what is going to be an action-packed event.”