Cookham Regatta – a marvellous day out

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Thanks to the Rotary Clubs of Cookham Bridge and Marlow Thames, Cookham was home to a Regatta on the 4th September.

Surprisingly the definition of Regatta is not a day of Pimms, it actually means boat races. So, if you were expecting boys in boaters and ladies in chiffon then you would be disappointed.

The weather on Saturday was lovely; a real surprise considering August was described as the coldest we’ve had for ten years.

The event started at 10 with the promise of a day of boating in all sorts of craft including dragon boats and dongolas. I was a little late, mostly because I decided to go old school and grab the train and walk down to the river.

I had this vision of me in a cheese cloth dress and a lovely wide-brimmed hat and a parasol, well after remembering that the train only goes once an hour –I shoved on some shorts and practically ran to the station, leaving the parasol and hat at home!

The two events that I had been told not to miss was the Cookham Challenge (a mix of 5 boat races and landside competitions – volley ball, funny walk and tug of war for a team of 14) and the Canoe Cat Knockout.

I liked the idea of amateurs taking part in the boat racing, in fact, 300 took part in more than 40 races.

When I got to the regatta I was surprised at all the things to do, there were over 60 vintage cars and motorcycles, stalls, games, bars and a band.

However, with so much to do I would have liked a programme that actually informed me what boating events were happening and the times of all the events. Unfortunately the advert packed programme was too busy to see what the events were and when they were on.  Thankfully it was a lovely day, so even though I wasn’t sure what was going on I was enjoying myself watching the boats.

The two events I had been advised to see where great, I got to pick a team and jolly on the boats I wanted to win. When the Cookham challenge took to the land it showed that the teams were serious about winning. The challenge did go on a bit long and wasn’t as demanding as I had expected but it was fun to watch while sitting and eating my candy floss!

The sound system was hit and miss, occasionally a presenter would talk; his mouth half full of some food – I didn’t want to listen to someone’s lunch, and had to stop myself walking over and asking him to put the sandwich down!

The regatta might not have been a professional slick event, but it was unpretentious and a really nice day out.  My addiction to Tombola’s was well and truly fed and it is possible that a wing of Elizabeth House may be named after me with all the money I spent! But I came away with two bottles of wine and a bottle of perfume so it was well worth it.

For big spenders there was a silent auction for the Shelter Box charity and a duck race.

With food from Malik’s as well as burgers from the Scouts, the day had everything a nice day-out in the country could offer.

As I got on the train to return to Marlow, passed fields and families enjoying the river, I really did think how lucky I was to live in such a picturesque place – next time I must bring my hat!!

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