Our most famous river regatta started life as a jolly carnival in 1839 and only gradually evolved into a rowing competition. The course is one mile, 550 yards long and only two boats compete per race; some days there are as many as 90 races.
What's all the fuss about?
Seeing some formidable rowing – Olympians alongside club rowers – and the lunatic outfits, worn by the members of various rowing clubs.
Do I need to dress up?
Only in the Stewards' Enclosure (for members or by invitation only); there is no general dress code in the Regatta Enclosure and there is public access along the towpath, so you can take a picnic, wear what you like and watch without charge.