The Summer of 2016 is bringing with it another chance to be part of one of the UK’s most historical and memorable sporting events – the Henley Regatta. This amazing event began almost 200 years ago in 1839 and has been held every year since – with the only exceptions being during the two World Wars.
During its early Victorian years, the regatta itself was a single afternoon of racing hosted by the Mayor and people of Henley. However, its instant popularity, both as a sporting event and as riverside leisure entertainment, meant that it quickly grew beyond the single afternoon. By 1840, racing had already been extended to two days, with another increase to three days in 1886 and then to four by 1906.
Even so, by 1928, these four days were not sufficient to accommodate the number of entries or the number of races needed to allow the event to be completed in the time allowed, so qualifying races in the week prior to the regatta itself were introduced. Yet this was still not sufficient so, by 1986 and with rowing still growing in popularity, Henley Regatta was extended to run across the five days that we are now so familiar with, in order that the maximum entry for some of the most popular events could be increased.
The rich history of the event has seen other milestones too. 1993 saw women competing over the full regatta course for the first time and by 2000 an open event for women’s eights was introduced. More new events for both women and men’s quadruple skulls were then introduced the following year, establishing women firmly in the 21st Century tradition of this prestigious event.
Henley Regatta 2016
The chance to see this all in action arrives with Henley Regatta 2016, from 29th June to 3rd July, with the opportunity to enjoy one of the UK’s most traditional, interesting and exciting hospitality venues as well as witness an amazing sporting event, across five days of live sports on the water.
Off the water and after the races, there is also plenty of entertainment for families and groups, including parties, DJ extravaganzas, family day events (Sunday 3rd July), as well as a complete shopping village with pop up shops and refreshments.
Visitors to 2016’s Henley Regatta can also get involved in the live jazz and music events, as well as try some extremely fine dining and drinking opportunities. Weather permitting, picnicking is highly encouraged and places to picnic include reserved spots which offer great positions to enjoy the races as well as al-fresco and marquee dining. Prime areas include the famous Temple Islands Meadows. The meadows lie on the banks of the River Thames in Berkshire and take in around half of the regatta course, including the race starting point.
With the regatta fast approaching, waiting lists for membership, which allows admission to the high-spot Steward’s Enclosure, are already starting to build up and as some Henley areas are accessible as ticketed areas only, it’s the time to take action if you want to head to Henley. However, organisational headaches can be swapped for an easy day out as Team Tactics can deliver the full gambit of group or corporate hospitality that everyone can enjoy at the historic Henley Regatta 2016.