All the fun of summer rowing at Henley Town & Visitors

“A glorious day for both spectators and competitors” says Regatta President.

With a record number of entries, Henley Town & Visitors’ Regatta was all set for one of its best ever years and, judging from the reaction of spectators and crews, it delivered.  Dr Iain Reid, 2013 Regatta President, said, “We aim to strike a balance between the formality of the Royal Regatta and the fun of summer rowing.  It was wonderful to see so many people relaxing in the enclosure, and enjoying the racing and the refreshments.  Congratulations to all the crews, from elite to beginners they all gave us great entertainment!”

There were entries from over 50 rowing clubs in a full range of events ranging from primary (for people new to rowing) to elite level.  In the primary category Henley Rowing Club won the Mixed Quads while the RAF Rowing Club took first and second in the Coxed Fours with Henley in third.  After being presented with their prizes, the winning RAF crew celebrated with an impromptu impression of the Red Arrows!

The members of Corio Bay Rowing Club who had travelled over 12,000 miles from Geelong, near Melbourne raced in several events and won two Masters titles as well as bagging several regatta ties as souvenirs.

Each final earns points for the winning club which are totted up throughout the day to determine the most successful club overall.  During the afternoon Thames Rowing Club from London emerged as a main contender along with Henley and Maidenhead Rowing Clubs, but the result wasn’t decided until the last, and fastest, race of the day, the final of the Elite Eights, where Henley Rowing Club faced Pangbourne College old boys and Bristol University alumni.  Pangbourne Nautics Boat Club won in a time of 2 minutes 33 seconds, although all three crews were overlapping at the finish and each gave vent to their enjoyment of such a fast and close race, much to the spectators’ amusement.  

Thames Rowing Club were the most successful club at the regatta with wins in six events and they received the Sutherland Cup from Mrs Diane Sutherland in memory of her late husband Peter Sutherland OBE, along with a special commemorative shield to keep in perpetuity.

“We had a superb day and thought the event was simply brilliant”, said a member of Stratford upon Avon Boat Club.  I don’t think any of us could remember such a great day’s racing and everyone we came into contact with was so positive and helpful.”

“It doesn’t come much better than that”, said Reid, “and I’d like to send a great big ‘thank you’ to the Committee and all of the volunteers who helped us deliver such enjoyment to so many people.”

British Rowing’s local Participation manager, Paul Lorenzato, added his praise for the organisers of the Regatta and commented on the popularity of the social and primary events.  He said that among the entries from Walton, Weyfarers, the RAF and Henley Rowing Club were people who had been rowing for only a few months, people returning to the sport after a few years away and even some who had only been rowing for four days!

The round robin format over a distance of 500 metres had gone down extremely well and all the rowers commented on the fun they had.   He thanked Henley Town & Visitors’ for staging the events in a very busy schedule and Weyfarers and the RAF for supplying their boats.

The 2014 regatta will be held on Saturday August 2nd and the Annual Dinner for Regatta Subscribers will be at Leander Club on November 29th.  Anyone wishing to become a Subscriber can contact the regatta via its web site, where there are also links to the regatta’s Twitter feed and Facebook page.