THE 150th annual York Summer Regatta will be held by York City Rowing Club on the River Ouse tomorrow.

The regatta has been the major rowing event in the Minster city since York City Rowing Club was formed in 1863.

This year’s regatta has attracted more than 200 entries and, with 744 rowers and coxes taking part, it is the largest racing programme that the club has hosted in many years.

Organisers said the field reflected the increasing popularity of the sport for all ages, with the youngest competitors just 13 years old and the eldest, in the Masters I quadruple sculling event, in their 80s.

Regatta secretary Anne Homa was delighted with the large entry, which can be attributed to "the success of British rowers at the Olympics, and post-Olympic initiatives to boost numbers of rowers nationally".

But she added: "Increased competitor numbers also reflect the introduction to this year’s regatta of a considerable racing programme for less experienced oarspeople of all ages."

Many competitors represent local clubs, York City Rowing Club and St Peter’s School, but there are large contingents coming from Durham School, Oundle School, various Durham colleges and Sheffield.

Racing will be over the 850-metre downstream course from St Peter’s School boathouse to Lendal Bridge.

With so many entries and many competitors rowing in more than one event, there will be races every few minutes from 8.30am until early evening, with the last race scheduled for 6pm.

Although some of the York City senior women’s squad will be competing at the York regatta, the top senior women’s crews are away taking part at Women’s Henley Regatta, the most prestigious regatta in the women’s rowing calendar.

Women’s captain Joss Rankin said: "All these crews have shown a fantastic commitment to training throughout the winter and to developing as crews.

"I am proud to be captain of such a strong York squad for Women’s Henley."