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Historic Gravesend Regattas under threat

PUBLISHED: 14:37 26 April 2011

Rowers take to the Thames at Gravesend

Rowers take to the Thames at Gravesend

Archant

Organisers fear this year will see the last historical Gravesend Regattas take place following a dramatic slump in committee members and financial problems.

Chairman Ian Stevenson said the event which has been in decline for years has been hit by the double whammy and if the current situation continues will collapse before the next annual general meeting in Janaury.

Held each summer on Gravesend Promenade, the event first staged in 1846 signaled the start of boat racing events on the River Thames in Gravesham and a series of summer regattas have taken place every year since.

Mr Stevenson said: “Like many voluntary organizations finances have become a serious problem, but Gravesend Regatta Committee are also struggling to find replacements for committee members who have left for a variety of reasons.

“We have reached a crucial year. We need more manpower to make our regattas run smoothly, and without an increase in our income this year we will be lucky to survive any further than our next AGM in January.

“We have increased entry fees for our races and stall fees for the town Regatta, but being wary of the problems all are facing, have kept these to a minimum.”

He added: “Any offer of cash or physical help would be eagerly accepted.”

This year’s Town Regatta will be held on June 4 and 5 and the Summer Regatta on July 23.

To help with any of the events contact Ian Stevenson on 01474 535022.

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