In the 175th year since its inauguration, the 2017 regatta was blessed with dry, warm and largely sunny weather; the only problem being a crosswind that caused some problems early on Saturday 10th June. Flow rates were low at 12 and 14 m3s-1 and the stake-boats were set up for the 1500 m course on Saturday with a differential of 2.5 m to compensate the Berkshire station for the reduced stream on that race-lane, reduced to 1 m for the 1100 m course on the Sunday.
Entries remained low for the more senior events, with overall entries slightly lower than hoped for the Saturday regatta but with a good level of entries for the Sunday and Mini- regattas. Overseas crews from the USA and Ireland added to the competition.
The distribution of wins between stations was essentially even on the Saturday (53:47 %) but with a higher proportion on the Oxford station on the Sunday (39:61 %). As in previous years, close races were in the minority. On Saturday 23% of races had winning margins <= 18 m with 7% <= 6 m, while on Sunday the verdicts were similar at 24% and 9 % respectively.
The Sunday Mini-regatta was raced over a 500 m course with a free start. As in previous years, the first heats were raced in the ’lunch interval’ with the remaining semi-finals and the finals providing a mid-afternoon break in the main event. The Mayor of Reading, Councillor Rose Williams, presented the prizes to the winners of the Mini-regatta.
This being the 175th year, the committee had provided special anniversary medals for the weekend and, exceptionally, also agreed the award of an anniversary medal to the coaches of each of the winners. A commemorative programme for the weekend was produced.
The Victor Ludorum trophy, the Saunders Cup for the most successful club over the weekend, went to Reading Rowing Club: this was particularly appropriate as the club was also celebrating its 150th anniversary. Henley Rowing Club retained the Radley Cup for the most successful club in the Mini-regatta.
Looking forward to 2018, the proposed new competition framework. will lead to a rearrangement of events and thus allocation of trophies. Hopefully this will lead to more close races and a better distribution of competitors across the events.