The Bedford Amateur Regatta is in full swing with 1800 rowers from all over the world competing on the River Great Ouse today (11 May).
The rowers, which have come from as far away as South Africa, will compete on the 1200 meter downstream course which finishes at the town’s Victorian suspension bridge.
The event also hands out a pewter tankards to each of the 300 winners.
Regatta secretary, Hugh Maltby, told us that things were quite different when it was founded in 1853: “When it started there were about 30 races and it was very much organised as a social event for the town, with punts going up and down on either side.”
Today the race continues to be one of the key social events in the town’s calendar with parents, supporters and competitors enjoying the atmosphere on both sides of the river.
“Want it to be a town event where people from Bedford come and enjoy the riverbank and see some rowing as they go past.” added Hugh.
The Bedford Amateur Regatta is organised by a committee made up of representatives from all the rowing clubs in the Bedford.
Over the years the event has also seen some of the country’s up and coming top rowing athletes take part, who have then go on to win Olympic and world championship medals.
To find out more about the regatta and to find out the latest results. Head to their website.