Is Henley Regatta The Most Significant Sporting Event Ever?


Rowers at Henley Regatta


The Henley Royal Regatta is one of the most significant events in the sporting and social calendars. Come and watch the finest rowers in the world battle it out for their place in history with


Over 200 races take place over five days in the otherwise quiet town of Henley-on-Thames. A 550-yard (2,112m) stretch of the River Thames becomes a battleground for 20 different trophies as crews go head-to-head in the heats, whittle down the numbers until only one team remains to lift the prize and have their names added to the Book of Honour.


Trophies range from the tall Prince Albert Challenge Cup to the squat Queen Mother Challenge Cup, from the golden Princess Grace Challenge Cup to the Silver Goblets and NickallsâÂ?Â? Challenge Cup, from the glittering scarf pin for the Diamond Challenge Sculls to the most prestigious of them all âÂ?Â? The Grand Challenge Cup. This silver cup was first held aloft at the very first regatta in 1839.



With so many entrants at what has now become the worldâÂ?Â?s most popular rowing event, 80 races are held on both the Wednesday and Thursday of the 27th week of every year. Even with continual races from 9am to 7.30pm, this only gets the heats out of the way. The quarter-finals, a further 60 races, are held on the Friday; 44 semi-finals are held on Saturday and, finally, the 20 finals are held on the Sunday.


Far from being just a sporting event, though, Henley Royal Regatta is also an important social event. Spectators are expected to arrive in their finest attire, be it a lounge suit or your best summer frock. Using London coach hire can help to remove the pain of tramping through the expansive car parks in your smartest shoes.