Ely celebrates rowing heritage

The city of Ely celebrated its historical ties to rowing earlier this month, with special regatta for graduates of Learn to Row courses throughout the Eastern Region.

The Isle of Ely Rowing Club hosted the Learn to Row and Improvers regatta – attracting novice rowers from Ely, Broxbourne, and Bedford – on the 183rd anniversary of the first Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race.

The world-famous race was co-founded by Charles Wordsworth and Charles Merivale – who was Dean of Ely Cathedral from 1869 to 1893.

The celebrations began on the morning of June 10th, with a Sung Eucharist at Ely Cathedral. During the service, the Isle of Ely RC’s single scull ‘Charles Merivale’ took pride of place in the cathedral’s nave.

After the service, the Charles Merivale was carried down to the River Great Ouse to be reunited with the Isle of Ely RC’s identical single scull ‘Charles Wordsworth’. Descendents of Merivale and Wordsworth then sculled the boats in a ceremonial row along the river, ahead of the afternoon’s novice regatta.

The Learn to Row and Improvers Regatta provided a fitting climax to the day’s events, with racing for singles, doubles, and quads – all in stable Explore Rowing boats.

To find out more about the regatta, visit www.elyrowingclub.org.uk. Photos from the day can be found at www.smugmug.com/gallery/23504332_Lr9Nt7#!i=1899931623&k=LqVfrTK

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