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Henley Royal Regatta Live Stream River Thames Online Webcast

 World Events, June ,  Henley Royal Regatta

Event Information:

The Henley Royal Regatta is a rowing event held every year on the River Thames by the town of Henley-on-Thames, England. The Royal Regatta is sometimes referred to as Henley Regatta, its original name pre-dating Royal patronage. It should not be confused with the three other regattas rowed over approximately the same course (Henley Women's Regatta, Henley Veterans Regatta and Henley Town and Visitors Regatta), each of which is an entirely separate event. The regatta lasts for 5 days (Wednesday to Sunday) over the first weekend in July. Races are head-to-head knock out competitions, raced over a course of 1 mile, 550 yards (2,112 m). The regatta regularly attracts international crews to race. The most prestigious event at the regatta is the Grand Challenge Cup for Men's Eights, which has been awarded since the regatta was first staged.

As the regatta pre-dates any national or international rowing organisation, it has its own rules and organisation, although it is recognised by both British Rowing (the governing body of rowing in England and Wales) and FISA (the International Federation of Rowing Associations). The regatta is organised by a self-electing body of Stewards, who are largely former rowers themselves. Pierre de Coubertin modelled elements of the organisation of the International Olympic Committee on the Henley Stewards. Each event in the regatta takes the form of a knockout competition, with each race consisting of two crews racing side by side up the Henley course. The course is marked out by two lines of booms (wooden bars which float on the water, secured between vertical poles), which are placed along the river to form a straight course 2,112 metres long. The course is wide enough to allow two crews to race down with a few metres between them. As such it is not uncommon for inexperienced steersmen or coxswains to crash into the booms, possibly costing their crew the race.

When the start and finish positions of the Old Course had become established, the distance between them was found to be 1 mile 570 yds (2131 metres). However, boats were aligned by their sterns at the start and judged by their bows at the finish. This meant that the course was slightly longer for single sculls than for eights. The length of an eight was assumed to be twenty yards and as such the course came to be described as ‘about 1 mile and 550 yards (2112 metres)’, which was the distance covered by an eight. The change of the international distance to 2000 m and the addition of a fifth day to the regatta in 1986 allowed the Committee of Management to revisit the decision. In 1993 the regatta introduced an open Women’s Single Sculls event and from 1993-6 this counted as a round of the FISA World Cup. The first winner was Maria Brandin of Sweden and she subsequently won a further four times. Fittingly, the prizegiver in 1993 was Peter Coni. In 1996, the Stewards purchased a silver cup as a challenge trophy and named it the Princess Royal Challenge Cup; it was presented for the first time in 1997.

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