Friday, 17 September 2021

Henley Town and Visitors' Regatta AGM

DR NOEL SNELL was elected president of Henley Town and Visitors’ Regatta at the annual meeting, held on Thursday, March 16.

In proposing Noel, regatta chairman Mike Williams said there was an unwritten tradition that the presidency alternates between town-connected and rowing-connected candidates.

Noel is a well-known member of both the local and rowing communities.

As well as having rowed at the regatta, Noel has been medical officer of both Henley regattas as well as serving the community as mayor of Henley.

Commenting on his appointment, Noel said: “I raced in the final of senior pairs at Henley Town and Visitors’ Regatta 50 years ago and lost to Iain Reid [a vice-president of T&V and steward of Henley Royal Regatta].

“I became medical officer 40 years ago, a post which I held for 37 years.

“My aspiration is to maintain T&V as the best Thames regatta, top class, with Edwardian flavour.”

Outgoing honorary general secretary James Lee reported that entries were slightly down in 2016 and the regatta needed to find new ways of attracting crews, especially eights.

However, with races taking place at four-minute intervals from 8.45am to 6.55pm, those attending saw a full day’s racing, the Victor Ludorum being won by Wallingford Rowing Club.

James thanked the regatta’s many supporters, including the stewards and secretary of Henley Royal Regatta for the use of their land and particularly their co-operation in 2016.

Thanks were also given to Henley Town Council, Henley Rowing Club and Dr and Mrs Walter Scott.

James, having recently moved to Cambridge to take up a position with Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club, will be replaced as honorary general secretary by Ian Mills.

Mr Williams proposed a vote of thanks to James for a job well done.

James will remain on the committee as entries secretary.

Honorary treasurer Peter Knowles reported that 2016 had been a challenging year financially for the regatta.

This was partly due to a reduction in entry fees due to the high proportion of small boats and partly due to reduced catering revenue on a weather-affected day.

Peter also reported that there had been a 20 per cent increase in the costs of staging the regatta, which was unfortunately a sign of the times and would need to be managed by the committee.

Two social events, the president’s river cruise in June and the annual dinner in November, with guest speaker Sir Steve Redgrave, had been popular and made important contributions to regatta’s finances.

The president’s quiz, which wasn’t held in 2016, is being groomed for a reappearance in the near future.

Appointments made at the meeting were as follows:

Vice-presidents — all existing were re-appointed with the addition of former president Fred Smallbone.

Deputy president — Guin Batten.

Chairman — Mike Williams.

Honorary general secretary — Ian Mills.

Honorary treasurer — Peter Knowles.

Members of the committee — Mrs A Bushnell, M K C Davies, Mrs M E Denham, M J Duff, K P Fisher, D W Hancock, R C Hodgkin, Mrs E Hodgkin, Mrs H M Knowles, J P Lee, Q Knowlson, M J S Levy, L Spatcher, R Spatcher, C P Stuart-Bennett, J C B Sutherland, Mrs H Turnell, P Turnell and the captain of Henley Rowing Club.

Honorary auditor — Dr C Thompson.

Honorary trustees — John Luker and Tony Hobbs.

The 2017 Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 29.

The full range of events will cater for crews of all abilities, from novice to elite.

The dress code is casual and refreshments, including a licensed bar, will be available in the spectators’ enclosure.

Henley Town & Visitors’ Regatta is organised by and supported by people and businesses closely associated with Henley and its surroundings. It’s an opportunity for local families to come and relax on the wonderful riverside lawns, thanks to the generosity of the stewards of Henley Royal Regatta in allowing us to hold our event there.

We are very much looking forward to this year’s regatta and to seeing close races and a good crowd of spectators enjoying themselves in the sunshine beside one of the world’s most famous stretches of river.

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