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Inaugural Regatta London race cancelled due to ‘stormy weather’ forecast

More than 1,000 rowers, kayakers and paddle boarders were due to take part in the event on the River Thames.

Wind, rain and thunder is forecast for London on Sunday (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)
Wind, rain and thunder is forecast for London on Sunday (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

By Luke Powell, PA

Strong winds and “stormy weather” has led to the cancellation of the inaugural Regatta London race along the River Thames.

The event, which was due to take place on Sunday September 29, would have seen more than 1,000 rowers, kayakers and paddle boarders race along the river through central London.

But in a statement on Friday, organisers said they were unable to safely run the event due to “stormy weather” affecting the river’s water quality.

The Met Office has now warned of gales of up to 50mph, heavy rain and thunder for parts of the country on Saturday evening and Sunday.

A yellow weather warning is in place for parts of North West and South West England, along with Wales, from 6pm on Saturday to 5pm on Sunday.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said areas including Devon and Cornwall could see coastal gales of up to 50mph during that period.

He said there could be up to 70mm of rain over the hills and mountains within the weather warning area, while lower parts could see between 30mm to 40mm in a “short space of time”.

The Met Office has warned of disruption to travel and flooding.

Cities covered by the warning include Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Bangor, Swansea and Cardiff.

Mr Burkill said large waves and high spring tides could also increase the risk of “coastal impact” in South West England.

He said: “We have got a deep area of low pressure that will bring heavy and persistent rain, and strong winds too.

Meanwhile, meteorologist Luke Miall said it will be a “weekend of two halves” in regard to the weather in London.

He said while Saturday will be mostly sunny with some rain in the capital, “heavy showers”, thunder and gusts of up to 30mph are forecast for Sunday.

Temperatures are forecast to reach highs of 19C on both days.

Mr Miall said wind and rain is forecast for the rest of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and southern Scotland throughout most of Sunday.

Regatta London said the decision to cancel its event this weekend was not “taken lightly”.

“More storms are forecast which will further impact the water quality, cause high winds during the event and potentially require an operational closure of the Thames Barrier which would prevent the planned test closure from happening on the morning of the event,” organisers said.

The event invited participants to take part in a 12-mile looped course from Putney to Big Ben and back, or a 14-mile route from Hammersmith to the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

“We share the disappointment of all those involved, but the health and safety of our event participants and our team must be our main priority,” the organisers said.

Regatta London organisers said all participants will be contacted by October 4 in regard to deferment of places to next year’s event or for refunds.

PA

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