Today Fraser got to row on the famous Royal regatta course at Henley. The Royal regatta is one of the most prestigious rowing events in the world. It is held in the last week of June / first week of July and comprises crews from all over the world. They race on the stretch of the Thames at Henley, is a two at a time knockout format until the final champion is found.
The regatta started in 1839 and received royal assent in 1851. The regatta is a very colourful event on the English summer social scene. It is characterised by men wearing extra colourful and stripy rowing blazers and everyone drinks lots of Pimms whilst sitting on the vast lawns that line the course. They also all talk in posh accents.
Back before we left Calgary, Fraser wrote to a number of clubs located at Henley seeking an invitation to row with some members during one of their sessions. The very kind people at the Phyillis Court Club extended an invitation and Fraser joined them for a full loop of the regatta course.
Here are some pictures of preparing the quad skull prior to rowing. Fraser is in the red shirt.
And here he is with the Phyillis court members proceeding along the Royal regatta course.
It was a real thrill for Fraser who enjoyed it immensly and has huge bragging rights to take back to the Calgary Rowing club and other rowing members of his own family.
Di and Sarah meantime, were invited by a couple of the male club members to join them in the club house for a coffee and chat, which was all perefectly civilised.
Whilst we were having a natter, one of the members came up and showed the two gentleman the Queens official letter and photo that her great uncle had received on his 100th birthday. Appears the telegram as been superseded.
It was then time to head back to the boat to get a chuff on to Marlow.
We wandered back through some of the streets admiring the flowers.
Di likes to pop into pet shops to see if there is anything different than what you get in Canada but apart from going to Harrods there usually isn’t. In this case though, we found this adorable one legged 70 year old cockatoo who wanted nothing better than to be scratched behind the ears.
Cruised under the Henley Bridge on our way to Marlow which was two hours further down river.
We passed by the Phyllis Court Club where Fraser had done his rowing earlier in the day. As you can see, it is a substantial empire.
We cruised passed The Temple which is where they start the rowing which heads back towards the township of Henley. It is used a lot nowadays for weddings.
It was then onto Marlow where we had plans to moor up for the evening and then wander around the town in the morning. In 2019, we had similar plans but were unable to moor up due to lack of moorings – exactly the same again this time. We continued on for another hour and a half before we finally pulled up alongside a hotel barge who kindly allowed us to breast up for the evening.