Fingers are crossed for calm weather so that the Hastings Regatta can take place tomorrow (Saturday).
Hastings Rowing Club is desperately hoping the annual event will go ahead so that it can raise funds to help safeguard its immediate future.
Club president Paul Knight said: “It’s really important for us to get this off. We’re hopeful it will be a nice day and we can attract some people down.”
Nine visiting clubs from Dover in the east to Worthing in the west are expected to line up in a Coast Amateur Rowing Association fixture which is due to start between 10 and 10.30am depending on conditions.
Although the host club doesn’t have any set crews at present, Hastings are hoping to field a couple of veteran crews and new captain Craig Golding hopes to be sculling.
Due to the Coast Amateur Rowing Association’s generosity, Golding and Paula Hubens have been allowed to compete for other clubs on an ad-hoc basis at regattas elsewhere.
“The clubhouse is being used and we do have members, but we’re going through a very lean spell,” continued Knight. “As it has been for some time, the club is down to its bare bones.
“We’ve got a crop of youngsters, but they’re too young to compete at the moment. We’ll still be here next year, but we do need an influx of youngsters.”
Although nearby Bexhill Rowing Club - which is due to host its regatta on Sunday - continues to thrive, Knight says that Hastings aren’t alone in struggling for numbers.
Knight expects there to be 16-18 races tomorrow, but in the past there have been as many as 25. Weather permitting, there are likely to be four races per hour with the rowing continuing until around mid-afternoon.