ENTRIES for the Henley Masters Regatta were so popular this year that the event was fully subscribed three days after entries opened, leaving many prospective competitors very disappointed
ENTRIES for the Henley Masters Regatta were so popular this year that the event was fully subscribed three days after entries opened, leaving many prospective competitors very disappointed.
With the Henley Festival taking place both evenings and the Henley Swim immediately afterwards, the organisers are struggling to find a way to accommodate the increase in demand as the sport continues to grow.
Now in its 23rd year, this year’s regatta is being held on the Henley reach today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday).
There are 130 clubs entered across the 80 categories of event, which are split by age and boat class, that the regatta offers.
This year includes entries come from the USA, Italy, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
Along with crews from all across the UK, they help to make the event one of the top international Masters Regattas.
Events are broken into age categories, with a minimum average age of 36 and the oldest competitors are well into their 80s.
Some of the crews entered contain athletes who have discovered rowing later in life, bringing great energy and enthusiasm to their new sport, and some include former Olympians and internationals who continue to enjoy getting out and training on the water.
All enjoy competing against each other in the friendly, relaxed atmosphere that the Masters Regatta provides.
Racing takes place over a 1,000-meter course starting just above Temple Island and finishing at Upper Thames Rowing Club, which organises the event.
There are races every four minutes from 9am to 6pm today and 8am to 6pm tomorrow, with crews progressing through their events to the finals on Saturday afternoon.
The winners’ medals will be presented by Diane Sutherland, president of the regatta; Lucy and Cath McLaughlin as well as John Pilgrim Morris, chairman of Upper Thames Rowing Club.
Spectators are welcome to attend to support local crews. Upper Thames has entered 23 crews, while Wallingford has eight, Marlow seven, Maidenhead four and Henley has three.
Last year, the regatta was also oversubscribed with organisers closing entries six weeks early. A total of 120 clubs entered, including those from the USA, Italy and Australia.
Upper Thames was the best performing crew from the Henley area, picking up six wins.