Getting a Ride on the Launch

IMG_0312A lot of people would love to be on the umpire’s launch following a race at Henley Royal Regatta. But if you are not a coach or a member of the media, it can really be tricky to get a spot. However, at the Henley Masters Regatta it is different. Clive Radley, author of The Radleys of the Lea, which HTBS has mentioned earlier, found it was very easy to get a ride on the launch, he writes in an e-mail. ‘It had always been one of my ambitions to follow a race from the launch and now I have done it,’ Clive reports. And more than once, it seems, as he is sending two photographs with views from the launch, taken during two of Friday morning’s races.

Clive also mentions that he had spoken to some Americans, who were competing at Henley Masters. (As a matter of fact, he sat next to them at the Saturday Luncheon at Henley Royal Regatta.) ‘By coincidence, my cousin Vincent Radley, who has a Sid Radley-built single scull at his house, also lives in Virginia.’ It is a small world, the rowing world.


PS. After posting today’s entry, HTBS received a nice e-mail from Raoul Wertz, who writes that he was competing at Henley Master Regatta with a dozen of his Marin Rowing Association (Greenbrae, California) teammates. ‘My wife, son, and I took many photos from the launches, each staffed by very friendly and polite and protocol-oriented umpires and drivers.’ Here is a link to an online album showing the Wertzs’ many photos from and of these beautiful and powerful launches. Take a look here.

Thank you for sharing, Raoul!


    • I’ve been lucky enough to be ‘umpire side’ at both HWR 2005 (S4+ Milton Keynes RC v Walbrook & RCC) and HRR 2010 (Thames Cup, Carlow RC v Star Club), and be on the winning side on both occasions.

      A quick search on YouTube allowed me to take a virtual ride alongside TEW for the Phillips Exeter Academy v Mount Saint Joseph Academy race described so elegantly by Tom in the above link.

      There’s room in the launch if you want to join us:

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