Abingdon’s renowned annual boat race has been cancelled for the first time in its 25 year history because of wet weather and river levels.
The Abingdon Spring Head of the River race was expected to draw in large crowds alongside more than 400 teams signed up this Sunday.
Organisers say they are ‘heartbroken’ they have to cancel the event along the River Thames by Abingdon Bridge.
They cannot set up for the race or move equipment to Rye Farm Meadows, where spectators would have been able to view it.
A statement from Abingdon Rowing Club, which runs the event, said: “It is with very heavy hearts that Abingdon Rowing Club has this evening taken the tough decision to cancel this year’s Abingdon Spring Head of the River.
“We have assessed both current river conditions and what is due to come down stream over the following 48 hours.
“We do not believe that we can run the event safely on Sunday.
“Having never been in this situation before in the event’s 25-year history, please bear with us whilst we finalise details of how we will administer cancellation.
“We really are heartbroken. Not only for all the work that has already gone into the organisation, but also because of how much we enjoy hosting the event.
“We are truly sorry that we won’t be able to do that this year for you all.”
Crews from across the country were poised to tackle the 2,000 metre route along the River Thames between 9.30am and 4.30pm, finishing near the grounds of Abingdon Cricket Club.
The Abingdon Spring Head of the River race is actually a series of time trials throughout the day.
The fastest crew is present with the Abingdon Head of the River Race Challenge Cup, 1963.