Henley Royal Regatta is undoubtedly the best known in the world and is both a highlight of the summer sporting calendar and the social season. Thousands of spectators will watch over 200 races of an international standard including Olympians and crews new to the event. The Regatta runs over a 5 day period and was first held in 1839 and has been held annually ever since, apart from during both world wars.Unlike all other major international regattas, racing at Henley is on a knock out basis, with crews racing two abreast over a 1 mile 550 yds (2112 metres) long course.
Last week as we cruised past, the Royal Barge Glorianna was there on full view at the end of the course. Wow, it really did look magnificent. Much longer than we thought at 28.6 metres (94 ft) long and flying the four national flags, as well as the Union flag. What a sight! The barge was privately commissioned as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II for the Diamond Jubilee pageant in 2012.
The different types and the number of boats were quite amazing to see and the atmosphere was great. Many of the spectators were dressed in their finery with some wearing beautiful, sometimes elaborate, head gear and colourful blazers. Whilst we cruised down the course our guests sat at the bow of the boat drinking their Pimms and taking in the atmosphere.
Our guests thought it was a spectacle that they were so glad that they had not missed.