THERE will be oar-to-oar combat along the River Waveney this weekend as town pride is put at stake in a fierce battle.

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A team of complete amateur rowers from Bungay will take on their compatriots from Beccles as they battle it out in the annual boat race.

The sprint along the 1,000 metre course will see the teams row side-by-side for the first time since their training began in February.

Since 2007 the towns have competed against each other as novices are trained up by the Beccles Rowing Club for competition.

Last year’s competition was won by the blue team of Bungay, making the red Beccles team even more determined to take back the trophy and equal the series, in which they currently trail 3-2.

Rowing club captain Mark Taylor said he was anticipating a close race this year.

“I think it will be a competitive race as they are very even and just as quick as each other,” he said.

“They’ve been out in all weathers training, in the rain, ice and snow.

“They have really taken to it and hopefully a few of them will stay up and join the club.”

Mr Taylor, of Ringsfield, had his first taste of rowing when he took part in the 2007 event for Bungay.

The race will take place at 9.30am on Sunday, and will see the crews travel under the A146 bridge and finish by Beccles Quay, with the trophy presentation at the club, in Northgate, Beccles.

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