Blenheim Palace Junior Regatta
On 12 June the very first regatta took place at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.
This inaugural event is specifically aimed at juniors aged 13 and below and offered them the chance to compete in a series of 500 metre multi-lane races on the lake within the grounds of one of the most spectacular private homes in the country.
In March 2009 Nick Kenworthy-Browne and John Broadhurst from Hinksey Sculling School were disillusioned about the lack of events for juniors aged 13 and below. “Why not a regatta on the lake at Blenheim?” Nick suggested to John.
Just over a year later and an awful lot of hard work by all involved it actually happened. 150 juniors aged 10 to 13 from invited schools and clubs competed over the 500 metre course within the spectacular setting of Blenheim Palace.
For most athletes it was to be their first ever regatta so encouragement and extreme patience was required by all the officials involved. Crews were escorted by the umpires to the start then heats and finals of each category were held consecutively.
Dragon School and Upper Thames took 6 golds apiece and Hinksey took the most medals overall with three golds, eight silvers and seven bronzes.
After the success of this historic ‘trial’ event discussions will take place to establish whether it could become a yearly fixture.