Talkin Tarn masters Henley
Whilst Henley Royal Regatta is the premier rowing event and best known in the UK calendar, the famous stretch of the River Thames is re-used the following weekend for the Henley Masters Regatta. This gives a wonderful opportunity for rowers aged over 27 to compete against the finest from the UK and abroad over a 1000m straight course up Henley Reach from the iconic Temple Island to the hosting Upper Thames Rowing Club. This is a “bucket list” event for many rowers globally, with many crews from Europe, USA, and even Australia and Argentina. Presumably you can’t get an Eight on as hand baggage!
Apart from the atmosphere (and the weather that was somewhat more summery than Talkin Tarn...) the distinctive course is characterised by being bounded by very solid piles connected with heavy wooden booms. These are totally immoveable and can really catch out crews more used to open spaces.
Talkin Tarn Amateur Rowing Club had the largest number of
entries in memory this year. The first race of the whole 2-day event was for
the Talkin Tarn coxless quad of Dave Harte, Jon Britton, John Pearson and Kevin
Oates from Hexham Rowing Club, who had to substitute for Tim Morris who was
unable to compete due to a date clash. They were up against a Bewl
Bridge/Wallingford composite, who had much more experience of the River Thames,
and despite a very close race, the opposition won by just a length and a third.