Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford Regatta called off due to 'sodden ground'

The Bedford Regatta has been called off for the first time since World War II because of too much water in the river.

The committee took the decision to cancel Saturday's event on the River Great Ouse due to the adverse weather conditions of the past few weeks.

Secretary Hugh Maltby said: "Sodden ground and a rising river level have made it unsafe to use the river."

He also confirmed the committee would try to refund entry fees "on a pro rata basis" once it had paid its costs.

Calling the decision to cancel "very difficult", Mar Maltby said: "To my knowledge the only previous cancellation has been due to the first and second world wars."

The 149th regatta will now take place in 2013.

"Unfortunately, we will have to wait another year before we celebrate our sesquicentennial anniversary," he said.

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