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Swale Barge Match in Faversham cancelled by Kentish Sail Association due to weather

Organisers of a popular annual boat race have been forced to call off the event due to forecast strong winds.

The Swale Barge Match, put on every year by the Kentish Sail Association (KSA) in Faversham, was due to take place this weekend.

But match secretary David Pollock has announced that there is "no alternative" but to cancel the race.

Organisers have been forced to call off this year's Swale Barge Match. Picture: Seamus Masters
Organisers have been forced to call off this year's Swale Barge Match. Picture: Seamus Masters

This year's gathering was due to be in memory of longest-serving KSA member Lena Reekie, who died in January after a battle with cancer.

But Mr Pollock says there is no option to rearrange the race for this summer.

"After closely watching many weather forecasts for Saturday as they have developed, the KSA committee has regretfully decided that the 2019 Swale (Lena's) Match has had to be abandoned," he said.

"With possibly 40 knots of wind forecast through the day, there really is no alternative.

"We're sure that this will be as disappointing for your as it certainly is for us."

Skippers who have paid an entrance fee can have it refunded, or it can be used as credit for next year's payment for the match scheduled to be on Saturday, August 15 2020.

Mr Pollock says despite the race being cancelled, people are welcome to head to The Shipwright's Arms at Hollowshore from 7pm tonight.

He said: "If any entrants, or would-be entrants, have managed to reach Swale by this evening, do please come ashore and have a beer with us, and pick up a programme and a Lena mug, which you would have received if racing."

To keep up to date with KSA's work and events, click here.

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