The 1976 Henley Royal Regatta began on Thursday (1 July) in almost tropical weather. Despite?
The 1976 Henley Royal Regatta began on Thursday (1 July) in almost tropical weather. Despite the heat, rowing experts rated conditions as near perfect with the Thames flowing slowly and a stiff breeze dead astern. It should be a year when records will tumble, but many of the world's top oarsmen are already on their way to the Montreal Olympics.
SYNOPSIS: The Henley regatta began in 1839, and twelve years later came under Royal patronage. Since then it's become a British then it's become a British tradition, ruled over with an iron rod by stewards who this year refused to admit men to the enclosure without jackets and ties, despite the temperatures around 90 degrees farenheit (32 centigrade). There are twelve major events to be decided in the four-day regatta.
Between races, police and officials had to warn off swimmers using the Thames to escape from the unseasonal heatwave.
One of the heats of the Diamond Challenge Sculls race, which was instituted in 1850, was won by Ted Hale of Australia, one of the few world-class overseas competitors scheduled to take part in the regather.
The Thames Challenge Cup for eights, one of the most popular events with competitors, was traditionally won by London metropolitan clubs. But between 1936 and 1960 American university crews won seventeen of the nineteen races. This particular heat was won by Harvard University, which could be an omen for this year's result.
Heats were also rowed for the Wyfold Challenge Cup, and for the first time in the regatta's history the steward ordered one race to be re-rowed. But other heats passed without incident and this one was won by the Nottingham and Union Rowing Club.