Henley Regatta

June 28th 2016
By: Mary.Wilkins
Henley Regatta

The countdown has started for the best known regatta in the world.  During the five days of races, Henley Royal Regatta attracts thousands of visitors to watch more than 200 races.  The Royal Regatta was established way back in 1839 and is steeped in history.  It is an annual event and has been held every year since then, except during two World Wars.  It was initially held as a general attraction with amusements and a fair, but it soon changed so that competitive amateur rowing was the priority.

The week before the main regatta is when the Qualifying Races take place, leaving the main races to be held during five days of the event – with up to 90 races taking place during a day.  The organisation of this is key to the success and races are started at 5 minute intervals.  Each race can take about seven minutes – covering the course of 1 mile and 550 yards.  The number of races is reduced each day so that just the Finals are rowed on the last day of the event.

The Regatta costs around £3 million to stage each year, with 85% of this being funded through subscriptions to the Membership of the Steward’s Enclosure.  It is one of the few major sporting occasions which run without any reliance on external subsidies or commercial sponsorships.

The racing starts this year on Wednesday 29th June, with the finals being raced on Sunday 3rd July.  Let’s hope the sun shines on a great event!