Tuesday, 22 July 2014

HIGH SUMMER IN HENLEY

HENLEY IN HIGH SUMMER

Henley. 


Its prelude is Hurley downstream a couple of miles. We are again about the good ship MV Cantara of Dart, our third voyage. Waiting by the lock gates there is a small backwater. This is the home of Peter Freebody the boat builder. His craft are pontoon-moored under canvas faded by the weather. 

Caddice-like they sit quietly until their owners move the covers and parade these wonderful craft at the Regatta.
Peter Freebody the Boatbuilder Hurley


Mid morning near Henley still downstream from the Regatta’s start line, along the banks colourful burgee’s flutter. The MV Janthea (a Dunkirk Little Ship).

Caps, hats and flocks are starting to appear alongside the water’s edge.









At the top of the Regatta’s course, in the warm up area, crews wait patiently for their turn on the ‘race track’. On each boat much muscle and concentration. Crowds gather round the boats to gorge on the beefcake. More hats and caps strike upstream.
The MV Janthea (a Dunkirk Little Ship)

Just past noon, Henley. A mass of tents and grandstands, stalls, flags and bunting; marquees with tables set for luncheon, much wine is offered and much is graciously accepted, the effects of which are visible later in the day. Looking down from Cantara’s upper deck we don’t miss a thing. This is the view of views of the Henley Royal Regatta, a pleasure and a privilege. People line the banks as if on a Promenade. There is much to gawp at.
Admiring the beef cake preparing to race at Henley


We can include here the Royal Barge Glorianna, it fretwork and guilt giving it the semblance of a floating Tandoori restaurant.
In the thick of it in Henley