- 04 Jul 2006
- IOC News
Henley Royal Regatta Welcomes IOC President
IOC President Jacques Rogge and IOC Executive Board member Denis Oswald took in some rowing action at the Henley Royal Regatta in Henley-on-Thames on Sunday. Joined by Regatta Chairman Mike Sweeney, they enjoyed an afternoon of exciting finals racing in the picturesque town on the outskirts of London. Oswald, who rowed to an Olympic bronze medal in 1968, is also President of the International Rowing Federation.
Summer social event
Raced on the River Thames, the Henley Royal Regatta was first held in 1839 and has been organised annually ever since, except during the two World Wars. Originally staged as a public attraction with a fair and other amusements, the emphasis rapidly changed so that competitive amateur rowing became its main purpose.
Today, the event is a highlight on the summer social calendar as well as a pure sporting event, and thousands line the water’s edge in their finest to cheer on the world’s top rowers.
Crews travel from around the globe to participate in the prestigious five-day race that features 19 events. This year’s edition saw an entry of 432 crews from 16 countries.
Olympic Rowing Course
Henley was the site of the Olympic rowing events when London hosted the Games in 1908, and again for the Games in 1948. Modern competition rowing now requires more than two lanes for racing, and the rowing event for the 2012 Games in London will be held at the new Dorney Lake rowing course in Eton.