Guide to Rowing & the Regatta
As the Regatta was instituted long before national or international rowing federations were established, it occupies a unique position in the world of rowing. It has its own rules and is not subject to the jurisdiction either of the governing body of rowing in the UK (British Rowing) or of the International Rowing Federation (FISA). However, it is proud of its distinction of being officially recognised by both these bodies.
Unlike multi-lane international regattas, Henley still operates a knock-out draw with only two boats racing in each heat. This entails the organisation of up to 90 races for the heats. To complete the programme by a reasonable hour, races are started at five-minute intervals.
All races are held over the full Henley Course on the River Thames. The length of the Course is one mile 550 yards (2,112 metres) – upstream. All races are rowed two abreast and the winner proceeds to the next round.
If more entries are received for any event than the number permitted in the Rules, the Committee shall arrange Qualifying Races.
The Draw takes place the day following the qualifiers. In the Draw, in each heat, the first crew drawn has the No. 1 station – the Berks. station.
Traditionally the Committee has 'selected' certain crews in the Draw for a number of the events. The purpose of this is to achieve the fairest and most satisfactory racing programme. Crews may be 'selected' because they are considered to be the fastest in their event or in order to keep apart overseas crews from the same Club or Country or for other similar reasons. This means that ‘selection’ is not the same as ‘seeding’!
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Glossary of Rowing Terms
We have prepared a list of useful rowing words and phrases to help you get the most from your visit.