Founded in 1839 and held annually ever since, the Henley Royal Regatta is a great sporting occasion along with a classy social scene.
Rowing crews and spectators travel from around the globe to partake in this upper class sporting festival.
The tournament is comprised of packed tow paths, lavish picnics along the river banks, summer dresses, chinos, boating hats and glasses of Pimms flowing from hand to hand in the crowds.
There were parties blaring music on supporting boats in unison with the crowd the entire length of the race course, everyone really has to witness this for themselves.
Winning at Henley is considered one of the greatest achievements of a rower’s career even amongst those who have dominated the world. Henley is a unique regatta as it has a rigorous knock-out system and only two crews rowing abreast per race, as opposed to the more usual six lanes in other competitions.
Accompanying this, this Regatta is stretched over a course of 2112 metres, which is longer than the standard 2km races providing an exhausting challenge for the competitors.
It is easy to see why this is such a favourite amongst the sport.
Loughborough was not only represented in the races but also the Atlantic 4 (Hugo Turner, Ross Turner, Greg Symondson & Adam Wolley) were rowing the warm up strip with various passengers, promoting their 3000 mile endeavour across the Atlantic Ocean in aid of Spinal Research, described as ‘the world’s toughest rowing race’, at ‘the worlds undoubtedly best known regatta’, a fitting stage some might say.
To the main event, the rowing, and Loughborough University were represented by a number of students, where our top performance was achieved by Pippa Whittaker, who rowed in The Princess Grace Challenge Cup for the Nottingham Rowing Club.
Pippa and her boat managed to qualify but were regrettably knocked out by the Princeton Training Center ‘B’ USA, who went on to eventually win the class.Other countries in this category include Australia, Holland and China, demonstrating the international importance of this regatta!
Jonny Walton also rowed, competing on his own in The Diamond Challenge Sculls class where he represented the Loughborough Students R.C.
Jonny reached the semi-finals on the Saturday eventually bowing out to N. Hudson from the Australian Institute of Sport, a magnificent achievement to do so well on his own and for such a long distance!
Loughborough had two representatives rowing in a composite team for Nottingham Rowing Club ‘A’, consisting of Matt Ley (at bow), Rob Yates (Loughborough Student), Matt Gotrel (Loughborough Student) and Richard Watton (at stroke).
The foursome recently won the Hopton Cup at the Metropolitan Regatta and they looked in good form, moving onto the Henley Regatta they set their sights high and competed in The Wyfold Challenge Cup, which is a coxless four’s club event.
They excelled reaching the final and beating a string of names including; Doncaster R.C, Henley R.C ‘A’, City of Bristol R.C and Tideway Scullers’ Sch (twice due to Tideway complaining about weed on their rudder.)
Unfortunately their winning run came to an end losing to London R.C. ‘A’ in the final by 2 lengths.
What must be acknowledged is even reaching the final from an original field of 32 boats in the Henley Regatta is a great achievement, well done to all the rowers