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Digital Subscriptions > Row360 > Issue 017 - Apr | May 2017 > 135 YEARS STRONG


Royal Canadian Henley Regatta
In this article, the first of three we will be running in Row360 on RCHR, we look at the regatta from an historical perspective. In Issue 18 we will take a closer look at what the regatta is doing this year, being the year it celebrates its 135th birthday; and in Issue 19 we will cover the 2017 regatta.

As the Canadian Association of Amateur Oarsmen sought a permanent home for their annual race in 1903, why did they apply for a royal writ and rename their event the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta? And why did all of the Canadian clubs who had entered Henley Royal Regatta suddenly scratch their entries in 1903? After considerable effort and expense to qualify to race, what prompted the abrupt decision not to compete in England after all? We may never be sure, but there are compelling clues that offer insight to these questions in the fascinating history of the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, which will celebrate its 135th year of racing this August.

Canadian single sculler Lou Scholes was determined to win the Henley Royal Regatta (HRR) Diamond Challenge Sculls. Equally determined was the Toronto-based club Argonauts, who sent their best men’s eight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1899 and 1902 to compete at HRR for the Grand Challenge Cup. Scholes also raced at HRR in 1902 in his single scull. Neither Canadian crew won.

Canada’s HRR Diamond Challenge Sculls winners rowing past crowds of cheering spectators in 1931. Stroke to bow: Joe Wright, Jr. (1928), Bob Pearce (1931), Lou Scholes (1904), Jack Guest (1930).
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Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, adaptive, college, club, ocean, and more.