Save Regatta Radio

regatta-radio-logoFor the past eight years Regatta Radio has been bringing the theatre of the world’s greatest regatta into the homes of thousands of people in Henley and the surrounding area. It’s the radio station that pops-up every year broadcasting on 87.7 FM and streaming over the internet. For many people who can’t make it to the Regatta it has become an invaluable source of information and entertainment about the biggest event in Henley’s season.

However the future of the station is in serious doubt after their major sponsor withdrew their support with just weeks to go before this year’s Regatta which starts on 2 July. The Regatta Radio team have undertaken a series of fund raising activities which is getting them close to the funds needed to continue. However a decision needs to be made next week about whether to go ahead.

The station started in the Summer of 2006 proving an instant hit and is now widely regarded as an integral part of the Regatta providing informed stroke-by-stroke commentary on every race as well as interviews and feature programmes on everything that is happening on and off the water. However the Royal Regatta does not fund it in any way, though provide very helpful assistance.

The station has always relied on the support of its sponsors and advertisers but the continued period of austerity has made the annual enterprise challenging to produce. Each year Regatta Radio requires some £25,000 simply to put on the sort of service its listeners have come to expect. The equipment and licence to broadcast at high quality are not cheap and although all the commentators and presenters give their services free of charge, the technical equipment, licence fees, temporary on-site accommodation and necessary professional know-how all add up.

The Chair of British Rowing, Annamarie Phelps who is also a Steward of the Regatta said: “A huge thanks to the Regatta Radio team for the great job they do in enhancing the sport of rowing. It is compulsory listening for me during Henley week adding colour and insight to the sport.”

Peter McConnell the chairman of Regatta Radio commented, “We are extremely grateful to all our previous advertisers and sponsors but the shortfall in funding this year is making it difficult to see us being able to go ahead. We are doing everything we can to raise the money but would appreciate all the help that the people of Henley can give.”

Over half of all the homes in Henley listen at some stage during regatta week while well over 14,000 people listen worldwide through the streaming service. Last year the station launched an app which was downloaded over 3,000 times meaning people could listen on their smartphones.

There is a fundraising website at http://igg.me/at/RR2014 where more information is available and contributions of any size can be made or if you would like to sponsor the station contact peter@regattaradio.co.uk

The Regatta just wouldn’t be the same if Regatta Radio wasn’t there.