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Henley Royal Regatta Tickets
Among the UK's oldest regularly held sporting events, Henley Royal Regatta first took place in 1839. An annual series of rowing races, the regatta lasts for five days, running from Wednesday to finish on the first Sunday in July. For many years, the regatta has been regarded as an integral part of the British social season, along with certain high profile charity balls and debutante parties. In common with other events of this so-called season, the regatta enforces a strict dress code in many of its enclosures. HM Queen Elizabeth II is the patron of the Henley Royal Regatta. The event is staged on the River Thames in Oxfordshire. During the regatta, Henley-on-Thames, which lies a few miles to the north of Reading, can become extremely busy with teams, stewards and visitors.
Henley Royal Regatta's format
Since 1924, the Straight Course, as it is known, has been used to stage head-to-head knockout competitions between individual rowers and teams. There are no less than 23 different events that competitors can enter. The course is 1 mile and 550 yards in length, which is approximately two kilometres. With competitions that are officially recognised by British Rowing, an organisation that was founded in 1882, the Henley Royal Regatta is a distinct event from others that use much of the same course, such as the Henley Women's Regatta, the Henley Masters Regatta and the Henley Town and Visitors' Regatta, which take place at different times of the year. International crews of Olympic standard are frequent visitors to the event. Although some racing is visible to members of the public from the banks of the river, tickets to access the Steward's Enclosure and clubhouses of nearby rowing clubs are a prerequisite.
Henley Royal Regatta's events
The Grand Challenge Cup is among the best-known events that take place at the Henley Royal Regatta. A competition for Men's Eights teams, this competition has been staged since the regatta was first conceived. Open to crews from any eligible rowing club, the First Trinity Boat Club first won the cup in 1839. More recently, Leander Club has dominated the event. Overseas winners of the prestigious rowing prize include the California Rowing Club, the Victoria City Rowing Club of Canada, and the Australian and New South Wales Institute of Sport.
In 1979, the organisers of the Regatta announced that they would stage exhibition events for women for the first time from 1981 onwards. Such events still take place, but by invitation only. Events for women, such as the Princess Grace Challenge Cup, which is for Ladies quadruple sculling, now take place regularly.
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