Sun finally shines on Whitby Regatta as thousands flock to see special visitor

Action from today's raft race
Action from today's raft race

The first day of Whitby Regatta was bathed in sunshine and thousands flocked to the town to enjoy the fun.

Former England cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff helped draw the crowds as he took part in the raft race which was one of the main highlights of the day (Saturday).

He was taking to the water, which attracted three times as many rafts as last year, as part of filming for his new tv series, ‘Flintoff: Lord of the Fries’.

The show sees him travel the country in an eco powered mobile fish and chip van taking part in local summer events with pal Rob Penn, an extreme cyclist.

Whitby Regatta is the first segment of the show to be caught on camera and the Ashes star told the Gazette he had enjoyed his time in the town but thought the raft race was “carnage” as the usual flour and soot bombs were being launched well before the race started.

He joined the Quayside raft being led by Stuart Fusco and then watched the greasy pole but declined to take part himself saying he was “too pretty”.

Elsewhere in town the bonny baby competition was as popular as ever and 80 year-old Esther Boulton from Fountains Close was crowned the most glamorous granny and will take part in Monday’s parade.

Tomorrow (Sunday) will see the Red Arrows taking to the skies weather permitting plus the dog show and motorcycle gymkhana on the beach.