Merrily, merrily! Rowing fans look a little worse for wear during booze-fuelled night on the tiles after fourth day of the Henley Royal Regatta

  • Hundreds of rowing fans descended onto high streets in Oxfordshire after fourth day of Henley Royal Regatta
  • Revellers in hight spirits as they swapped a night in at home to hit the numerous bars and pubs in the city 
  • The event, which was cancelled last year, sees teams compete in more than 300 races along the River Thames

Hundreds of rowing fans descended onto the streets to enjoy a night out after they attended the fourth day of the Henley Royal Regatta this year.

Revellers appeared in hight spirits as they swapped a night in at home to hit the numerous bars and pubs in Oxfordshire and prepared to celebrate with their friends into the small hours.

Elsewhere, crowds of attendees were spotted enjoying a drink along the River Thames after a busy day at the races.

The scenes come after it was revealed women would be allowed to wear trousers to the Henley Royal Regatta for the first time in its 182-year history.

Hundreds of revellers appeared in high spirits as they enjoyed a night out after attending the fourth day of the Henley Royal Regatta this year

Rowing fans took to the city’s bars and clubs and prepared to celebrate with their friends into the small hours last night

Crowds of attendees were spotted queuing outside a pub as they enjoyed a drink after a busy day at the races

The long-standing sartorial rules – which asked for over-the-knee skirts and no trousers, and a blazer or smart jacket – have been scrapped after campaigners branded the former dress code ‘symbolic of an era when women couldn’t compete and were just there to look pretty.’

Previously women were required to wear a dress or skirt with a hemline below the knee. Men must wear a lounge suit, or trousers with a jacket or blazer. 

Earlier this week, Regatta chairman Sir Steve Redgrave announced the historic update to the dress code, saying ‘times have changed’ and it is the ‘right time’ to shake up the rules.

He said: ‘We have been asked for a number of years if we could look at the ladies’ dress code because times have changed.

‘Even though we see ourselves very much as a traditional event with a traditional way of dressing, with the introduction of more women’s events in recent years, we felt that it was the right time to make the change.  

‘It is not a major change by any stretch of the imagination but we still see the regatta as an excuse to dress up like you would for any other celebration.

‘If you see the regatta as a social occasion, as I do, people like to dress up and that is what Henley is all about – colour and celebration.’

One reveller lies on the ground after attending the fourth day of the 182-year-old event – which was cancelled last year due to the Covid pandemic

Groups of attendees enjoy a drink along the River Thames after watching the rowing races earlier during the day


Revellers hug police officers and appear in high spirits as they attend the event which sees teams compete in over 300 races of an international standard on the Thames

Crowds of attendees stand outside a pub and enjoy a drink as they join hundreds of others for a night out

The Henley Royal Regatta attracts thousands of visitors over the course of the five-day event and sees teams compete in more than 300 races

The move has given a boost to women’s clothes shops in the town and Ailsa Meredith, a style advisor at Whistles in Bell Street, said: ‘Some women don’t want to be typically dressed.

‘Going in something unexpected is nice and a way to show your bold personality.’         

The Henley Royal Regatta, which began on August 11, has seen national clubs from up and down the country vying for glory on the Thames in races scheduled until Sunday.  

Organisers have ruled it will hold the event as safely as possible, in line with Government and Public Health and those queuing to get had to prove they were ‘Covid safe’.   

The event attracts thousands of visitors over the course of the five-day event and sees teams compete in over 300 races of an international standard on the Thames, which can include Olympic rowers as well as crews new to the event.

It was first staged in 1839 and has been held annually every year since, except during the two World Wars and 2020 due to Covid-19.     

Some revellers lie on the grass after a busy day at the Henley Royal Regatta this year. The even sees national clubs from up and down the country vying for glory on the Thames

The Fire and Rescue Service stand guard as hundreds of revellers enjoy a night along the Thames after the event

Mounted police watch over the crowds as hundreds of spectators arrive for the fourth day of the iconic event

The number of spectators will still be hugely down and the infrastructure has been changed so there will be no grandstand in the stewards’ enclosure and no regatta enclosure while the boat tent has been moved to the opposite bank to usual.

Spectators will be encouraged to wear masks in all indoor spaces, such as the on-site shops and restaurants.

A total of 481 crews – 41 from overseas – will take part in the regatta, which began in August 11, and end with 26 finals, including three new ones for women on the Sunday. 

Sir Steve said it was ‘tremendous’ to be able to hold the event, which is one of key dates in the social and sporting calendar. 

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