ABINGDON’s annual dragon boat races due to take place on Sunday have been postponed after this month’s downpours made the swollen River Thames potentially dangerous.

Event organisers made the decision after carrying out an inspection of the river and adjacent Rye Meadow site yesterday.

However, Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, which runs the popular charitable fundraiser, plans to arrange an alternative date later in the year.

A spokesman for the organisers said the decision had been made because the river was was currently ‘red-boarded’ and navigation was forbidden, the site was waterlogged and would be dangerous to load and unload boats and they could not provide key facilities including parking.

The event, which sees the river filled with hundreds of fundraisers rowing to the sound of drum beats, has raised more than £400,000 for charities since 1999.

This year, 24 teams, each of 16 rowers and a drummer, had signed up to board their 40-foot boats and race down a 250-metre course.

Money raised is split between each team’s chosen causes and the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper’s charities.

The event, which attracts thousands of spectators, includes a fun fair, craft stalls, a charity raffle and food and drink stalls.