MISSING the excitement and camaraderie of the Olympics? Then do come and support the King’s Ely rowers as they go head-to-head with former pupils on Saturday (22).

As well as enjoying the stunning riverside views, spectators will also get the chance to meet BBC and Olympic rowing commentator Dan Topolski, the former Oxford University coach, who will be officiating the races.

The regatta will start at around 2.30pm and will be followed by drinks at the Boathouse restaurant, which has kindly agreed to host a reception, and all spectators are welcome.

The last time such an event took place in Ely was in 2004, which marked the 60th anniversary of the year that the Oxford and Cambridge Varsity Boat Race was held on the River Great Ouse in 1944. It was the only time in its 150 year history that the boat race has not been held on the River Thames, as London was deemed too dangerous during the war.

Head of King’s Ely Sue Freestone said: “The boat race marks the end of a highly successful season for King’s Ely rowers.

“The school recently won the Ball Cup Regatta at Dorney Lake – the venue for the Olympics; we took gold and silver medals at the National Schools’ Regatta; a crew of girls made it to the semi-finals at the international women’s regatta at Henley, and sculler Toby Rudkin (16) won a gold medal representing Great Britain in the single scull at the Great Britain vs France match in July.”

She added: “We hope that residents of Ely and the surrounding villages will come and watch the race. If all goes well, it could become an annual event.”

Parking will be available on the Amherst school field, which is within walking distance from the footpath from which the race can be viewed.

The school is also holding a Black Tie Dinner at the Monastic Barn from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £40 and include a three course meal, a complimentary drink, live entertainment and fundraising auction, with all profits going to support the school’s boat club. A cash bar will be provided by the Boathouse restaurant. For more information please email LiamSmith@kingsely.org or call 01353 660700.

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