This year’s regatta was largely dry but overcast with a light tail- to cross-wind, favouring the competitors rather than spectators. Flow rates were low at 16 m3s-1 and the stake-boats for the traditional 1500 m course on Saturday were set up with a differential of 2.5 m to compensate the Berkshire station for the reduced stream in that race-lane, reduced to 1 m for the new 1000 m course on the Sunday.
Races were at three-minute intervals throughout each day, with just three short intervals. Each day the regatta finished on time.
The introduction of the new competition framework led to a recasting of the events offered, offering all boat classes for the senior events and a limited range for junior events. Each boat class was then subdivided into bands according to the entrants’ Ranking Indices.
Entries for some junior events were lower than hoped and were attributed to coincidence with school examinations but the overall level of entries was such that full programmes were run on each day. Overseas crews from the USA, Mexico and Ireland added to the competition. Together with the move to the new Sunday course, the Mini-Regatta was integrated with the main regatta but the Radley Cup was retained for J13 and J14 events.
The distribution of wins between stations was essentially even on the Saturday (52 : 48 %) but with a higher proportion on the Oxfordshire station on the Sunday (41 : 59 %). One of the objectives of introducing the Ranking Index was to aid closer racing between better-matched entrants but, as in previous years, close races were in the minority. On Saturday 30% of races had winning margins = 18 m with 7% = 6 m while on Sunday the verdicts were similar at 28% and 9 % respectively. Hopefully this proportion will increase as the new competition framework settles in.
Christine Davies, who has represented Great Britain and is a long-standing volunteer at the regatta, presented medals to the winners on Saturday.
The Victor Ludorum trophy, the Saunders Cup for the most successful club over the weekend, was awarded to the University of West of England Boat Club. Reading Rowing Club won the Radley Cup for the most successful club at the J13 & J14 level.