Henley Royal Regatta 2021 planned to go ahead in August

Henley Royal Regatta 2021 – Wednesday 11th – Saturday 14th August 2021

The postponed Henley Royal Regatta 2021 is expected to go ahead Wednesday 11th – Saturday 14th August 2021, moved from the original dates of Wednesday 30th June – Saturday 3rd July 2021.

Henley Royal Regatta is undoubtedly the best-known regatta in the world. It is a highlight of both the summer sporting calendar and the social season. The Regatta attracts thousands of visitors over a five-day period. Spectators are thrilled by over 300 races of an international standard, which include Olympic rowers as well as crews new to the event.

What is the Henley Regatta?

henley regatta in 1928
The Henley Royal Regatta in 1928

The Henley Regatta is a yearly rowing event in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire and was first proposed by Captain Edmund Gardiner on 26 March 1839. The Boat Race in 1829 where the University of Oxford trounced their Cambridge rivals, took place in Henley on-Thames and brought national interest. With the influx of visitors to see other boat races, a regatta was agreed to bring amusement and gratification to the town of Henley and beyond.

It became the Henley Royal Regatta in 1851 when Prince Albert became the first royal patron.

The Henley Regatta runs Wednesday to Sunday by tradition, with 5 days of head to race knockout racing over a 2112m course and attracts teams from all over the world to compete for the prestigious Grand Challenge Cup.

The event is considered part of the high society sporting calendar with the Cheltenham Festival in March, the Grand National and The Boat Race in April, Badminton Horse Trails and Chelsea Flower Social in May, Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot in June, Lords Test Matches and Wimbledon in July. Goodwood in September. This means some enclosures continue to have a strict dress code.

Until 1999 the event was for amateurs only and in 1897 this was defined that:

No person shall be considered an amateur oarsman or sculler, or coxswain:

  1. Who has ever competed in any open competition for a stake, money, or entrance fee. (Not to apply to foreign crews.)
  2. Who has ever competed with or against a professional for any prize.
  3. Who has ever taught, pursued or assisted in the practice of athletic exercises of any kind as a means of gaining a livelihood.
  4. Who has been employed in or about boats for money or wages.
  5. Who is or has been by trade or employment for wages a mechanic, artisan or labourer.

Henley Royal Regatta, 1879

How to Get to Henley Regatta (RG9 2LY)

By Car (from the M40)

  1. Take exit 4 from M40 (the A404 exit to High Wycombe/Marlow)

  2. Follow A404 and A4130 to Queen Street Mews (RG9) in Henley-on-Thames

If coming from the M4, take Junctions 8 or 9

Where to Park for Henley Regatta

The Official Enclosures need to be booked and are usually located on the Berkshire bank (RG9 2LP) and Fawley Meadows (RG9 2HY)

How to get to Henley by Train

The Henley branch line is between Twyford in Berkshire and Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire and serviced by Great Western Railways, and can be reached from London Paddington via Twyford.