This is the first time the Silverskiff has been cancelled in its 19-year history and it came after large-scale damage occurred in the region due to the rain.

Organisers took metrological advice and were concerned that the increased water flow could cause unpredictable conditions on the River Po where the event was to have taken place.

Athletes had come from throughout Europe and as far away as the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Both the current World Champion Mahe Drysdale and world bronze medallist Emma Twigg (of New Zealand) came to the Silverskiff after winning their respective categories in the Armada Cup in Switzerland a week ago.

Nearly 600 scullers from 20 countries had entered to race the 11km course including a large number from the Italian national team as well as last year’s silver medallist in the Silverskiff, Michael Sivigny from the United States.