Henley Royal Regatta Makes Record Return

Henley Royal Regatta begins tomorrow (Tuesday, 28 June) and promises to be one of the finest vintages in its 183-year history.

Henley Royal Regatta begins tomorrow (Tuesday, 28 June) and promises to be one of the finest vintages in its 183-year history.

A record 419 crews qualified from 17 nations (including Great Britain) at every level of elite rowing, from school, university, club and country, will contest 393 head-to-head knockout races across 26 events in the first ever six-day Regatta. 

"The response from our crews, Members and Volunteers has been breathtaking."

“The Stewards of Henley Royal Regatta are looking forward to the start of this Regatta as much as it seems the rest of the rowing has been,” Sir Steve Redgrave, Chairman of the Committee of Management, said. “Once it was clear we would be able to stage this scale of event, the level of expectation has been building. But the response from our crews, both domestic and international, our Members and Volunteers, and all who come to support the event has still been as breathtaking as I’m sure the racing will be from Tuesday morning until Sunday afternoon.”

12 Tokyo Olympic Champions

In a field as strong as it is deep, there are 12 Olympic Champions from Tokyo, including five from New Zealand. Emma Twigg New Zealand’s Olympic gold medal in the women’s single sculls in Tokyo and favourite for The Princess Royal Challenge Cup. Kerri Williams (née Gowler) and Grace Prendergast, who won the women’s pair in Tokyo are favourites for the The Hambleden Pairs Challenge Cup (Women's Pair).

With three of the quad that won gold for China in the Women’s Quadruple Sculls in Tokyo - Yunxia Chen, Yang Lyu and Xiao Tong Cui - the Chinese National Rowing Team are favourites to win The Princess Grace Challenge Cup (Women’s Quadruple Sculls). China’s men’s quad are also the ones to beat in The Queen Mother Challenge Cup (Men’s Quadruple Sculls). 

Likewise, Australia’s three Tokyo gold medallists - Alex Purnell, Spencer Turrin and Jack Hargreaves - make them favourites in The Stewards’ Challenge Cup (Men’s Four).

Alongside them are a host of Tokyo medallists of all colours, previous Olympic medallists, and current champions, such as Oliver Zeidler, the German sculler and World and European champion, favourite for The Diamond Challenge Sculls (Men's Single Sculls).

"The quality of this year's Regatta can be seen throughout the events."

“The quality of this year’s Regatta can be seen throughout the events,” Sir Steve Redgrave said. “We’ve got eight national teams racing that have two boats or more entered - that is unusual.”

But there have been enough upsets over the years to ensure that no one takes the 2,112-metre course at Henley-on-Thames for granted and Lauren Henry’s epic run to the final of the The Princess Royal Challenge Cup last year are still fresh in the memory. 

Back to June

After being cancelled in 2020 for the first time outside of the World Wars, and hosting an event last August constrained by COVID-19, the Regatta is back in its traditional place in the summer season for the first time since 2019. 

“We’re excited to be back as we were and in fact a bit beyond 2019 - a year that broke a lot of records - after not having set up a full Regatta here in three years,” Sir Steve Redgrave said. “It has been odd driving around the one-way system here in June and not seeing anything appear by the river. Seeing the familiar blue-and-white boating tents - even though they are new this year - has made for a happy 2022.

“One of the reasons for going to six days was to accommodate our expanded number of events and ease the pressure on our volunteers,” Sir Steve Redgrave said. “After introducing them last year, the depth and quality in the three women’s events (the Wargrave - Club Eights, the Island - Student Eights and the newly-named Prince Philip - Junior Women’s Eights) is very exciting to see and is part of the pathway from School to the Open events which makes the Regatta special.”

Later starts

Holding the event over six days means that instead of the 8am early start, races will begin on Tuesday at 09.30am, 09.00am on Wednesday, 09:30am on Thursday and Friday, 10:00am on Saturday, and 11.00am on Sunday. It will also mean some crews get a day off.


Notes to the editor


Henley Royal Regatta, founded in 1839, is the best-known rowing regatta in the world, renowned for its match-racing.  It is one of the highlights of the summer sporting and social calendar in the UK, as well as the rowing calendar internationally.  Nearly 400 races are staged at the Regatta, featuring Olympians and emerging stars from around the world.

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