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An Invitation from Andrew Triggs Hodge

11.07.2019

I hope you’ve now heard a little about Regatta London. This event has been a dream of mine for a long time.

This is rowing’s chance to take centre stage.

Regatta London is 14 miles of non-tidal, flat river through central London, open for anyone up for a challenge. Regatta London promises to break boundaries and present the sport to the nation in a way that will inspire. Thanks to the routine planned closure of the Thames Barrier on 29 September 2019, for one incredible day paddle sports will be taking over the most iconic stretch of river in the world.

Within rowing circles there has been a lot of conversations about what the sport needs. We have great events like Henley Royal, the Head of the Charles, the Boat Race and a plethora of wonderful domestic events, but we’re unable to communicate the real magic of our sport to an audience wider than our own.

My vision is for Regatta London is to add a new string to the bow of rowing, to add a whole new way to see the sport. The recipe for this is:

  • The mass participation, fundraising model that is the bedrock for running and cycling, which has fuelled their growth for decades.
  • An iconic location that will stand head and shoulders above anything we’re used to, central London, where major events play.

With this foundation, rowing can be presented as a pinnacle event by taking a step away from strict performance and add a huge element of fun. Everyone who takes part will be timed and racers can still race it, enjoying some tactical, exhilarating racing. It will be a tough event to win - but it will really come alive through the energy of all the paddlers experiencing what it is like to row through central London, past all the famous landmarks and under iconic bridges such as Tower Bridge. Fundraising for great causes, dialling it up in fancy dress - if you like - alongside thousands of others showing and inspiring the capital and the country with the real magic and energy of rowing.

Here is the thing: I don’t think I’ve inspired many people to take up rowing. The Olympics is just too big a jump and there’s nothing in between, it’s all or nothing. I want Regatta London to be that link between getting involved, because it looks fun, because it looks incredible! An experience that anyone could do, and discovering the true breadth and depth of rowing and the welcome they’ll receive at our clubs.

In a nutshell this is my vision, this is my passion that has replaced the Olympic dream. I’m asking you to be a part of this from year one. I’m asking you to race it to win or race it for fun, to fundraise for charities or just buy a place, in male, female or mixed crews. To invite your mates and teach them to row for the event, because why not!

Please have a look at the Q+A for more info about the event and how this has all become possible. And believe me, the real winners of Regatta London will be the ones having the most fun!

Come with me, it’s going to be incredible.

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