Henley Regatta Hospitality - Henley Royal Regatta Beginners Guide

Beginners Guide to the Henley Regatta 2016

Ahead of the Henley Regatta 2016 we have put together a beginner’s guide to this fantastic rowing event which will be one of the highlights of the British summer. This is without doubt one of the biggest events in rowing events in the world and will see some of the best teams descend upon this picturesque setting for five stunning days of action.

Where and when?

The Henley Regatta is held across five days (Wednesday 29th June – Sunday 3rd July 2016) and takes place on the full Henley Course on the River Thames over a distance of 1 mile, 550 yards or 2,112m. It regularly attracts a wide range of rowers from Olympians to amateurs and has been held annually for 177 years.

The Racing

Every race at The Regatta starts at the downstream end of Temple Island, with crews attaching their boats to a pair of pontoons. Once both crews are straight and ready the Umpire will call out their names and they will each be assigned either the ‘Bucks’ (Buckinghamshire) or ‘Berks’ (Berkshire) side of the course to row down.

During the week there are two types of rowing which take place; sculling and sweeping. In sweep rowing, each member of the team holds one oar with both hands. These races can be done in pairs, fours and eights. In this form of rowing the port side is referred to as stroke side, and the starboard side as bow side

In sculling each rower has two oars (or sculls), one in each hand, this is usually done with singles, doubles or quads. The oar in the sculler’s right hand extends to port (stroke side), and the oar in the left hand extends to starboard (bow side).

The racing is competed in a head-to-head knock-out format and the most prestigious title is the Grand Challenge Cup for Men’s Eights; the oldest cup awarded at the Henley Regatta.

What to Wear

While there is no strict dress code in place at the Henley Regatta, the vast majority of male spectators dress in blazers, chinos, boat shoes and hats, while women wear summer dresses for the most part.

In the Stewards Enclosure men are required to wear lounge suits, or jackets or blazers with flannels, a tie or a cravat. While hats are not compulsory they are worn by most guests. Women are required to wear dresses or skirts with a hemline below the knee.

Hopefully this has given you a little more insight into what to expect at the Henley Royal Regatta.

Please follow the links for more information on our Henley Regatta hospitality packages.

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