Trad Boat Rally site this week - Pix: Robin Ford

July’s Thames Traditional Boat Rally – one of the major events of the season on the non-tidal river – has been cancelled.

After an inspection of the site the rally committee announced “with deepest regret [we have] concluded that the right decision was to cancel the event.”

The rally site at at Fawley Meadows, Henley, is still waterlogged after the winter’s floods.

Coinciding with the decision it was also announced that the chairman and president were standing down after 20 years.

A number of new features had been planned for this year including a display of vessels from two world wars. The annual rally of classic Rampart motor boats from all over the country had also been arranged to coincide with the event.

It is the second event to be cancelled this year. Goring and Streatley Regatta due to be held over the same weekend, July 19th and 20th, had already been called off.

A statement from the chairman Tony Goodhead said: “Last winter was the wettest for over 60 years and the Upper Meadow at Fawley was completely flooded.

“Although those waters have retreated to some extent there is still a very large pond, covering a third of that area, and there is little prospect of the ground drying out.

“The long range weather forecasts are predicting more wet weather than dry over the coming two months. Even the predicted mini heat wave is accompanied by thunderstorms. Coupled with the high ground water levels and soft ground conditions the Upper Meadow is effectively unusable for the Rally infrastructure.”

The statement goes on: “To be fair to everybody and to minimise any disruption or financial implications to all the entrants, and the TTBR, we believe it is better to cancel the event now rather than risk waiting until much nearer the time.”

The committee said incurring a loss this year would have ended the rally for good whereas it could be staged in 2015 if a new committee can be found.

Mr Goodhead said: “ A new organising committee needs to be established if the rally is to continue. No one has stepped up to the plate during the past few years of asking, but some of you need to consider taking on the mantle.”

Read the Thames Traditional Boat Rally statement in full HERE


Tel:01628 528203
Mobile 0771 2985189
email direct