REGATTA organisers in Shanklin have had to scrap the the historic event’s tug-of-war after they discovered the rope had disappeared.
The huge, purpose-made rope, takes three people to carry and had been stored in the regatta’s unit next to the Shanklin cliff lift.
Organisers were shocked to discover this morning (Thursday) — the day of 163rd regatta — the rope was missing and they have now been forced to cancel today’s tug-of-war.
They have appealed for whoever took the rope, to return it.
Events will be taking place on the beach throughout the day, culminating with a fireworks display.
A display by Sandown and Shanklin Inshore Lifeboat and the Coastguard helicopter is due to take place at 3pm.
An embarrassed Good Samaritan has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the missing rope.
Despite good intentions, the mysterious helper — who has asked not to be identified — said he had moved the rope and other equipment after the storage unit flooded and mice had started nesting in it.
Unfortunately they forgot about the rope until the Isle of Wight County Press reported its disappearance had led to the cancellation of the tug-of-war.
Regatta committee member Lynda Fleming said: "We''re just glad to find out its ok and to get it back."