Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Record crowd at Henley Royal Regatta draw

A RECORD crowd attended the draw for this year's Henley Royal Regatta

A RECORD crowd attended the draw for this year's Henley Royal Regatta.

Around 300 people packed into the the town hall on Saturday as teams were picked to contest the 20 events.

Sir Steve Redgrave, who picked the teams out of the Grand Challenge Cup, presided over the draw for the first time as chairman of the regatta.

He was elected in December and took over from Mike Sweeney, who retired after 22 years.

Sir Steve said: "I think this is the biggest crowd I've seen. Sitting next to Mike, who has been doing this for 22 years, it's certainly a very big audience today."


The majority of the crowd was made up of up rowers, who waited with anticipation to see who they would face in the heats. Many had to stand at the back of the main hall with no seats left.

The selected crews were drawn first for each event in order to keep them apart, before the rest of the crews were drawn.

Henley Royal Regatta will be broadcast live on the BBC for the first time since 1967. Finals day on Sunday will be available via the Red Button and the BBC Sport website.

Sir Steve, a five-time Olympic rowing gold medallist , said: "We have got 10 high definition cameras along the course. These cameras do pick up sound so please be aware!"

He said the committee of management didn't want to suppress people's 'enthusiasm and passion' for the sport but added: "We have had issues before, especially around the finishing area."

Sir Steve served as vice-chairman for the previous year, which included the 175th anniversary regatta in 2014.

He was elected a steward of the royal regatta in 1996 and has been a member of the committee of management since December 1999. He has also been a starter.


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