Avoiding Qualifying Races
Each year Henley Royal Regatta is oversubscribed for the majority of the 23 events, particularly for the Club, Student and Junior events. Typically around 550 crews enter the Regatta and this number must be reduced to around 310 for the Draw. This means that approximately 270 crews each year are required to race in the Qualifying Races.
The Stewards gather information from the results of the major Head Races during the winter and then from the major Regattas during the spring and through to the closing date for entries in June. However, with over 120 Head Races and over 90 Regattas being held in these periods, it is not realistic to try to assimilate all of the thousands of results into one database. Indeed, with all the crew changes (personnel and boat type!) that take place between March and June it would be completely pointless to try to assemble such a database.
Therefore, not surprisingly, the key results that are considered by the Stewards are those from the major Regattas held during April, May and the first two weeks of June. If you wish your crew to be excused from the Qualifying Races then they should enter and perform well at a number of the major regional regattas e.g. Nottingham City, Wallingford, B.U.C.S., Durham City, National Schools', Metropolitan, Reading Amateur, Henley Women's, Marlow, etc. If you consider your crew to be a serious contender in the Club events then they should be of Senior standard. Any crews which are not competitive at this level should expect to be required to race in the Qualifiers.
If a crew has a good result against some strong opponents at a local regatta or in a private match then this information should be included in a letter submitted with the Henley Entry Form.
The lesson is simple – enter major regattas at as high a level as you can and get good results! Crews that are assembled late in the day and that have not raced at all can expect to be asked to qualify.
Sir Steve Redgrave, C.B.E.
Chairman of the Committee of Management