Miriam Luke, Henley Women’s Regatta New Chairman

Henley Women’s Regatta is the most important event in a British women rowers calendar, the only International Womens Regatta in the world and considered by many more important than winning in their respective national championships.

Last year HWR celebrated 25 years of the regatta, and Diane Graham,Chairman, handed over the reins of the chairmanship to Miriam Luke who has lived in Henley for 17 years.

At the Sydney Olympics 2000, Miriam,her sister Guin Batten, Katherine Grainger and Gillian Lindsay took the Silver Medal in the Quad Sculls to become the first British women to medal in an Olympic rowing event. She is a 3 time Olympian and rowed internationally for 11 years winning Gold, Silver and Bronze World Championship medals.

As Village Manager Rowing and Canoe Sprint London 2012, Miriam planned, organised, recruited and trained over 200 Gamesmakers for the rowers and canoe sprinters based at Eton Dorney Lake.

“Having been a rower and a Henley resident I feel passionate about the event. It is the breeding ground of our future Olympic team and many race at HWR before they go onto compete for the British Team all over the world”.

The committee is meeting at the Leander club in mid January to plan the huge operation of running the regatta this year and also to plan the future direction for the next decade. The regatta attracts crews from all over the UK and the world. Last year we had 1430 competitors racing with a quarter of them coming from the USA, Canada, Australia and Europe. Many of the crews from abroad stay in Henley with local families.

HWR takes place at Remenham Farm halfway down the course. There are no restrictions or costs of entry and we are always keen to attract families and spectators from the town, particularly this year where we are planning activities for kids and young people, all related to rowing. Dress code is casual and generally weather dependent.

We are looking for increased sponsorship and although we have garnered outside interest from large nationals and multi-nationals, are very keen for companies based in the Henley area to support us in this, such as Invesco Perpetual and PWC who have been an invaluable constant throughout the HWR years.

Further articles with news on Henley Women’s Regatta over the coming months will be posted here on the Henley Herald and if you have any queries please e-mail-caren.donnelly@hwr.org.uk