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Henley Festival 2016

by mlines » 24 Nov 2015, 10:12

Not to be confused with Henley Rewind

This is 6th - 10th July 2016 and is a unique boating experience. Contact me or Xboatboatx (James) if you are interested

First act announced - Elton John.
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by Ianfs » 24 Nov 2015, 14:33

I have to endorse this, I have had the pleasure of working in Henley on Thames for 5 yrs and have also had the pleasure of living in the next town along, Marlow for 10yrs (a while ago now) and I can honestly say it is one of the greatest music festivals I have ever had the honour to attend.

If you get the chance go, please do, at least once in your life. Martin is right, it is a unique boating experence :)
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by ChrisH » 24 Nov 2015, 22:19

I might be very interested Martin. Can you remind us nearer the time?
I assume it's probably worth stomping up and paying to launch from Val Wyatt?
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by mlines » 23 Jun 2016, 19:33

As promised, a reminder that this is approaching.

The Regatta starts on Wednesday and finishes on Sunday with the "best" boating time being Saturday evening when the party hits Henley big-time. It is unclear at this moment whether the fireworks will be on Saturday night like previous years as they have been controversial in the past.

The Festival starts the following Wednesday

6th July - Elton John
7th July - Elvis Costello
8th July - Bryn Terfel
9th July - Shirley Bassey and Blake
10th July - Will Young

As a minimum we are planning the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 9th on the River

Val Wyatt slip is an eye-watering £80 this year which probably reflects its location. Other slips are further away and require a bit of advance planning to motor the river. There is a free slip in Henley itself (but its a real challenge to approach in anything other than a small boat and a determined driver. Henley will be undrivable on the Saturdays of the event. The best free slip is at Marlow but the council has forgotten that you need to park somewhere, but useful if you have enough crew to launch the boat AND drive the trailer away. A new app I have shows an alleged slip at the "French Horn" in Sonning but I have never seen it. There is also one at the Wokingham Watersports Centre but it seems locked most of the time.
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by mlines » 07 Jul 2016, 14:33

So we went along as we planned. Much had been made of new rules about mooring that were intended to relieve the chaos of previous years. However the rules reduced the amount of available mooring so we were all predicating a disaster as every boat would have to keep moving. The new rules limited mooring to two abreast instead of 3.

We decided that the rules would probable fall apart and certainly the "rules" evolved during the night. It started off as predicted with the EA strictly enforcing the no more that two boats rule. Being a smaller boat we had not grabbed a space on the booms early in the week. Instead we slotted in at 90degrees behind some friends boats. The EA were happy with this provided our front ropes went to the boom, meaning we were "1 deep" as we were, in their view, moored to the boom. The concern they had was that our rear end should not stick out.

As the crowds built they started to enforce this new rule that they made up more, ie. boats should not stick out more that a line of two abreast large boats. As you can see there was a large gap next to us where a Regatta marshalls stand was. At first they moved boats on from this area, later they permitted boats into it and then made sure that they did not extend outside of an imaginary "two deep" line, meaning the small boats could raft up 3 or more deep.

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Here you can see the "permitted" gathering of smaller boats next to us after they decided to let them moor there.

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The flow past the stage was kept moving quite well by the EA. However perhaps they should have had a boat stationed at the "entrance" to the channel to ensure large boats entered one at a time as some large Hobbs pleasure boats jammed the flow when more than one was allowed down.

Image

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Still we had a great evenings entertainment which you do not get in UK boating elsewhere.

Image
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by ChrisH » 07 Jul 2016, 20:19

Looks fab. Shame I could not make it again

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by shibbs » 08 Jul 2016, 18:45

Looks brilliant!!!
The barge with the piano on is fantastic! :D
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by mlines » 08 Jul 2016, 20:06

shibbs wrote:Looks brilliant!!!
The barge with the piano on is fantastic! :D


Not a barge, but a homemade raft! Those are blue plastic barrels you can see within the metal frame. There seems to be an informal competition for the most sophisticated raft.

There was a few others as well. A sort of Dragon Boat and a raft built on top of canoes. The canoe one also had a dining table with the "crew" sitting around eating.
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by mlines » 08 Jul 2016, 20:12

The river is divided into three like motor way lanes.

In the picture with the boat "escapism" in it you can see the downstream lane past the stage which is solid with moving boats.

We are in the middle lane where the lucky ones have moored up.

Behind us is the upstream lane, again solid with moving boats. As around 200 boats would be moored in the center of the river and two moving lanes of perhaps 100 boats in each lane at peak, you can see how busy it is with 400+ boats in perhaps a mile of river.

And yes, there are lots of collisions.
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by mlines » 08 Jul 2016, 20:27

THis timelapse gives a good impression of the river activity



Here is our 2014 experience with the Jacksons

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