A REGATTA with a rich history made big waves this weekend.

The Evesham Regatta has been a popular fixture in the town since June 1864 and more than 150 years later it remains as popular as ever. The 156th regatta featured 45 events, 172 crews and 127 races on Saturday alone.

Stourport Boat Club notched up the most wins on Saturday for the 1,000 metre course which involves rowing upstream.

Other Saturday winners included clubs from Stratford, Warwick, Evesham, Llandaff, Oxford, Pangbourne, Northampton, Derwent, Bridgnorth, Abingdon, Poole, Cheltenham Ladies College and Huntingdon.

Sunday was devoted to the 500 metre sprint. This involved 58 events, 229 crews and 171 races scheduled. Evesham Rowing Club came out on top with seven wins. Some clubs bought a trailer full of boats others were represented by a solitary sculler.

Vice-captain Carol Lovelock, speaking on behalf of the club, said the regatta was well attended with competitors ranging from 12 or 13 years old to those in their 70s.

She said: “This event is vital to the future success of the rowing club and we welcome the support of the community and the businesses who sponsor us.”

Funds raised by the regatta all go back into the club and some of the money helps fund the ‘Learn to Row’ programmes for juniors and adults, designed to introduce enthusiastic newcomers to the sport and teach them the basic skills to go on and enjoy rowing.

After the sweltering weather last year competitors had to contend with the wind on Saturday while a few swans had to be lured to the bank to clear the way.

Last year, the heat took its toll and meant organisers had to give welfare breaks to the river safety crew which caused some unforeseen delays.

This year, there were a few capsizes and competitors also had to master the river’s bends, one of the challenges for which the Evesham course is known.

One of the competitors had one of her blades bent under the boat and, though she did not finish, the single skuller managed, thanks to her skill, to stay dry, earning herself a round of applause.

Winners pots are hand-thrown by Wenlock Pottery.

The club has extended its thanks to chairman John Lomas, captain Simon Edwards, regatta secretary Martyn Sutton, the race committee and club sponsors.