By Gary Smee 03/05 Updated: 03/05 12:42
THE ORGANISERS of two of Evesham's biggest events set to take place this weekend have said they were left with little choice but to cancel them at the last minute because of the high river levels in the town.
Evesham Rowing Regatta and British Asparagus Festival Day have both been postponed after more than a month's worth of rain fell in the Vale in the last seven days.
The Regatta which attracts clubs from all over the country was set to take place tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday (May 6) but the decision to postpone it was made on Wednesday (May 2) as the river rose to more than two metres above its usual level at this time of year.
John Lomas, Evesham Rowing Club chairman, said the postponement was inevitable after more than a month's rainfall fell in the last week.
"The race committee and officials were left with no option due to the height of the river, the flow of the stream and the forecast of further rain," he said.
"This along with the fact that many entries were from junior crews indicated that the safety of competitors could not be guaranteed and so the inevitable decision to cancel was taken."
Organisers are hoping they can rearrange the event for Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1 and were set to consult British Rowing officials yesterday to see if it was a possibility.
"There are no other West Midlands regattas that weekend although it will be the finals of the Henley Royal Regatta," Mr Lomas added.
"It is the first weekend of Evesham’s Festival of Sport and with the Olympic Torch being carried through Evesham on Sunday morning, July 1, the regatta could really enhance a very special weekend."
Despite the cancellation of the main event the Regatta raffle draw will still take place on Bank Holiday Monday lunchtime (May 7).
The wet weather and lack of asparagus has also led to the cancellation of this Sunday's (May 6) British Asparagus Festival Day at Workman Gardens - one of the flagship events for the annual festival.
Organiser Angela Tidmarsh said she had not known a season like it before and apologised to anyone who was planning to come along.
"We have a number of other exciting events planned over the next few weeks and so we're all hoping things will pick up," she added.
To read more about the asparagus shortage in the Vale turn to page three.
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