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Henley Regatta in Oxford

Visitors flock to the famous Henley Royal Regatta every year to enjoy the thrills and spills of the rowing world.

Henley Regatta was first held in 1839 and has been held annually ever since. Originally a very local event staged by the Mayor and people of Henley as a public attraction, the emphasis rapidly changed so that competitive amateur rowing became its main purpose.

The 1839 regatta took place on one afternoon but proved so popular with oarsmen that the racing lasted for two days from 1840.

In 1886 the regatta was extended to three days and to four in 1906. Since 1928 its popularity meant that qualifying races were introduced in the week before the regatta to reduce the number of entries to a manageable size. In 1986 the regatta became a five-day event.

In 1851 H.R.H. Prince Albert became the Hneley Regatta’s first Royal Patron. Throughout the history of the event the reigning monarch has agreed to become Patron hence the regatta can be called Henley Royal Regatta.

As the regatta was instituted long before national or international rowing federations were established it has its own rules and is not subject to the jurisdiction of the major rowing bodies.

There are 19 events in total: six classes of race for Eights, five for Fours (three coxless and two coxed), four for Quadruple Sculls, and races for Coxless Pairs and Double Sculls. In addition there are single sculling races for both men and women.

Crews come to the regatta from every corner of the globe including Australia, Canada, USA, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Ukraine, and Great Britain.

Henley Royal Regatta is held at Henley-on-Thames [map].

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