Friday, 30 October 2020

Thousands watch Henley event online

ABOUT 19,000 people watched a two-day online rowing event in the absence of Henley Royal Regatta.

Henley at Home was streamed on the regatta’s YouTube channel on July 4 and 5 and included a 10-hour showcase of the best moments from the last five years. There were also interviews with athletes, including Olympic champion Mahé Drysdale.

The regatta, which was due to be held from July 1 to 5, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Daniel Grist, secretary and chief executive, said: “In a cancelled year the Henley family were appreciative of the opportunity to engage with and enjoy the event, with the YouTube coverage, digital content and hampers all successfully adding to everyone’s ‘at home’ experience.

“Thank you to everyone in Henley and the surrounding areas who got into the spirit of the weekend and celebrated the event at home with friends and family.”

The first day’s coverage began with Sir Matthew Pinsent talking to Lisa Scheenaard as they watched her winning the final of the 2016 Princess Royal Challenge Cup. He then spoke with GB world champion Phelan Hill about his victory in the 2015 final of the Grand Challenge Cup.

After the lunch interval, there was an interview with Bobby Thatcher, director of rowing at St Paul’s School, who spoke about the difficulties of motivating young athletes during the pandemic.

For the second day, Pinsent introduced a “dream playlist” of 24 finals from the last five years of the regatta. This included last year’s King’s Cup final, which saw the United States Armed Forces beat Bundeswehr from Germany by three quarters of a length.

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