Dragon boat races sunk by soggy ground

First published in

ORGANISERS of Abingdon’s annual dragon boat day have postponed this weekend’s event because of the wet weather.

More than 3,000 people gather for the fundraising event on the River Thames – which normally nets about £25,000 for charities – but Sunday’s races have been postponed until later in the year.

Organisers from the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, said the race could not go ahead because the recent heavy rain had left Rye Farm Meadow, next to Abingdon Bridge, waterlogged and river traffic is currently banned due to high water levels.

Spokesman Richard Benton said: “We carried out an inspection of the river and adjacent site on Wednesday.

“The site is waterlogged and it would be dangerous in these conditions to load and unload boats.

“We could not provide key facilities including parking, and the experience for the competitors and spectators would be very unpleasant.”

The organisers will now try to find a new date for the races in late summer or early autumn.

Mr Benton said: “The event has been running for 14 years and this is only the second time we have had a problem.

“It was affected in 2001 because of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.”

lFor more information,see abingdondragonboats.org.uk

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