Sudbury Regatta proves as popular as ever

The 136th Sudbury Rowing Regatta drew large crowds.
The 136th Sudbury Rowing Regatta drew large crowds.

The 137th Sudbury Regatta is set to be one of the biggest in the club’s long history with a full capacity entry list from 32 clubs, equating to 600 seats.

Friars Meadow will once again host one of the town’s biggest annual sporting spectacles on Saturday as rowers from far and wide do battle on the River Stour.

Last year saw around 2,000 people congregate on the banks of the meadow to watch the free-to-enter event and enjoy the family fun day-related refreshments and children’s activities.

And in her second year as Sudbury Regatta secretary, Nicola Swift said everything is cranking up this week for another bumper day for the home club, who themselves will be represented in 26 different crews involving just over 50 athletes.

“We are absolutely set, fingers crossed, for a fantastic day,” she said. “There has been many months of preparation, including clearing out the river with the Riverside Trust.

“It really is a committee driven event and lots of work has gone in to make the river look really good so people can enjoy the racing.”

But with 32 clubs set to be represented, she said the prestige of the event meant they could have gone higher, if capacity on the day had allowed.

“We are unfortunately over-subscribed and have had to turn some entries down,” she said.

For those not accustomed to watching the sport, Swift said the 8s (referring to the number of people rowing in the boat) is usually the most entertaining race to watch, especially given the River Stour’s winding passageway past Friars Meadow.

Racing gets under way from 8.30am on Saturday with the last boats due off at shortly before 7pm to bring the day to a close, with Sudbury having 8s crews going off at 9am and 10.30am.

Swift added: “We would like to give our thanks to all the businesses, organisations, club members and friends for helping to put on this year’s regatta.”