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Oar-some!

PUBLISHED: 15:34 10 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:45 23 August 2010

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THOUSANDS braved the unpredictable weather at the weekend to watch the 163rd Gravesend Regatta. On Saturday rowers battled through the heats in rough conditions for places in the finals held on Sunday as supporters cheered from the Gordon Promenade, Grav

THOUSANDS braved the unpredictable weather at the weekend to watch the 163rd Gravesend Regatta.

On Saturday rowers battled through the heats in rough conditions for places in the finals held on Sunday as supporters cheered from the Gordon Promenade, Gravesend.

Lucy Whentringhame, a member of TJ's Ladies Rowing Team, said: "It's pretty tough going out there, the wind is picking up but we will give it our best shot."

Throughout the day a series of heats were held as revellers visited a variety of charity stalls, watched dance performances tried out a variety of fairground attractions.

The themed event, based on the cult mod movie Quadrophenia saw live performances by the bands As is Now and Tyrannosaurus Alan and scores of bikers on classic Vespas and Lambretta scooters appearing.

Mike Fitzsimons, vice president of the Gravesend Regatta committee and a member for 37 years, said: "It was another successful regatta. Over the two days about 3,000 people turn up. It's still a very popular event.

"On Saturday the rowers were fantastic, the conditions were unbelievably tough but they all did themselves proud.

"The two bands we had this year were great. Tyrannosaurus Alan had a saxophonist and trumpet player, they even blew the amp they were really going for it."

Both mornings were fairly quiet but the calmer weather in the afternoons saw hundreds of families attend.

On Sunday the two overall winners were announced as the Men's Crown and Thistle team and Ladies Waterloo team.

Also at the event was Help for Heroes charity fundraiser John Ball, who has fundraised for various charities, including the armed forces cause, for 24 years.

He said: "The residents of Gravesend are always very generous when it comes to this particular charity.

"Only the other weekend we raised about £800 collecting in the town centre. If we can get anywhere near that this at the Regatta I will be delighted. The weather's not that great but that never stopped anyone before."

Campaign group Urban Gravesham also held a stall over two days as they collected signatures against revised plans for the axed tower development near the St Andrews Arts Centre.

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