OLYMPIC champion Sir Steve Redgrave invited some of his fellow contestants from The Jump to soak up the atmosphere at Henley Royal Regatta today.
The five-times Olympic gold medallist, who is vice chairman of the regatta, took part in the Channel 4 programme in December, but was forced to withdraw due to an injury.
He was joined in the Stewards’ Enclosure by contestants including Five star Ritchie Neville, singer Sinitta, hairdresser Nicky Clarke and party organiser Henry Conway.
Winter Olympic skier Graham Bell, who coached the celebrities throughout the programme and lives in Henley, also attended.
Sir Steve said he “absolutely loved” appearing on the show.
“I love my skiing and love my winter sports. During the programme I met some wonderful people and thought that it would be great to invite them to the regatta to see the sport that I did.
“They have been blown away. They are loving the atmosphere, loving the occasion and it is great to have them here.”
Sir Steve said he thought the 175th regatta had been busier than ever.
“Wednesday tends to be our quietest day. Yesterday, here in the Stewards Enclosure, it was absolutely heaving.”
He said the tradition and quaintness of the regatta was what continued to attract visitors every year.
“This is the biggest and best of all of them. There is the garden party feel, the quality of the rowing and going on for five days. Most are one or two days and it just draws in people from lots of different countries.
“Every rower wants to compete at Henley at least once, whatever country you come from. For most of the domestic athletes, this is the highlight of their sporting career.
“To me, it is the town upstream from where I was born and bred in Marlow. It is my local regatta and to have a regatta of this status is just amazing.”