Sunday, 25 August 2019

Regatta revives race for military

Regatta revives race for military

A RACE between military crews will return to this year’s Henley Royal Regatta after a 100-year absence.

The King’s Cup will involve male and female military athletes from the UK, Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, America, Germany and the Netherlands competing in the knock-out competition over the final three days of the event in July.

The first six of those nations took part in the 1919 Royal Henley Peace Regatta, held after the end of the First World War.

An Australian crew won the original King’s Cup, which was presented by George V and is now awarded annually to the fastest state crew in Australia.

This year’s competition, which is for eights, will be the first time a cross-gender military crew has raced at an elite international event.

Regatta chairman Sir Steve Redgrave said: “The regatta is delighted to host such an important commemoration.

“The 1919 Royal Henley Peace Regatta was a key milestone in our sport and was staged by the rowing community to help heal wounds and hasten the return to normality of the Allied nations and their troops recovering from the First World War.”

Organiser Chris Hartley said: “The 2019 King’s Cup campaign has been several years in the making and has strong support from all eight nations.

“It demonstrates once again the power of sport to build positive change.

“As military forces around the world embrace gender inclusiveness, the prospect of mixed crews racing at the regatta is tremendously exciting. As in 1919, the regatta is breaking new ground and we anticipate highly competitive racing.”

This year’s regatta will take place from July 3 to 7.

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