5 May 2017
Göran R Buckhorn writes:
Can pigs fly? Of course not! Well, actually, now they can, at least over the Henley course because it seems the most incredible, if not impossible, thing has just happened.
Yesterday, the Henley-on-Thames newspaper, the superb Henley Standard, reported that, for the first time in its 178-year history, Henley Royal Regatta has gone into partnership with three British companies. Henley Royal has joined forces with the Bremont Watch Company, which is based in Henley, the menswear retailer Hackett London and Aston Martin, which, for film-goers, is James Bond’s car (while in most of Fleming’s novels, 007 drives a Bentley).
These official event partners have been chosen due to their British heritage and their values, which are in line with Henley Royal’s.
According to the Standard, Bremont will provide handmade mechanical stopwatches to time the races and will also develop a range of official timepieces for the regatta. Hackett, which started its business in 1979 by selling used clothes from a stall in Portobello Road in London, will create bespoke Henley Royal clothing for men and women, which will be available to buy at the event, as well as in Hackett stores and online. ‘The range will include formal wear, in keeping with the famous standards of the Stewards’ Enclosure, as well as a range of casual wear,’ the Standard writes.
During the regatta, which this summer will be held between 28 June and 2 July, Aston Martin will display its range of luxury sports cars and they will be used to transport key officials and VIP guests during the event, so I will be expecting a full report from HTBS’s regatta correspondent Tim Koch how the ride was along the regatta course. To commemorate their partnership with Henley Royal Regatta, the automobile company will create a special Q by Aston Martin DB11.
‘The regatta is proud to be involved with such highly respected British brands and their association with the regatta will not only enhance the spectator experience but will mark the start of further long-term partnerships. The Stewards have always sought to retain the unique charm and character of the event and these partnerships will work in a mutually beneficial way without overtly commercialising the event,’ Sir Steve Redgrave, chairman of the regatta’s committee of management, says in a statement.
According to the Standard, Nick English, co-founder of Bremont Watch Company, remarks: ‘Henley has always been internationally renowned for being the global home of rowing and with our manufacturing base being meters from the River Thames, the tie-up as official timekeeper for Henley Royal Regatta has a lovely synergy. Given the event has never had global partners, dating back to 1839, it’s a real honour to have been asked to get involved.’
Jeremy Hackett, chairman and co-founder of Hackett London, says: ‘Hackett’s well-respected position within the rowing community and the ability to provide attire for gentlemen for all sporting and social occasions made it a natural step for Hackett to become one of the initial partners of this most stylish and quintessential British event.’
Income from these partnerships will allow the future development of Henley Royal Regatta and help increase its standing as one of the premier events in the British sporting calendar, the Standard writes.