A MESSAGE FROM Her Excellency Janice Charette, Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
German Navy to take over from the Luftwaffe
Deep inside the stunning German Embassy in London, we think this is the moment Defence Attaché Ralf Raddatz explained to the Ambassador how The King’s Cup will be brought back to Berlin when the Bundeswehr Achter are successful in July.
By air we presume judging from the colour of the uniforms present.
It was a warm reception from German Ambassador Dr Peter Wittig in elegant surroundings for the presentation of The King’s Cup competitor badges to the German crew.
Following on from earlier visits to Berlin, The King’s Cup Chairman Chris Hartley said “We are really looking forward to welcoming the German crew in July – there has been no better reception for the idea of a military race at Henley Royal Regatta, as part of the 100 year commemorations of the Royal Henley Peace Regatta, than from the German military. The men and women of the Bundeswehr may be soldiers first but they are also formidable athletes.”
To the left of the photograph below is Naval Attaché Matthias Schmidt who takes over as the primary point of contact in the London Embassy for The Kings Cup from Air Attaché Hermann Hanke to the right in the photo.
From somewhere to the left in the crowd came the comment “This is business as usual – the Navy often has to finish something the Airforce has started.”
The Chief of Defence Force comments from New Zealand
The New Zealand Defence Force is proud to be competing in The King’s Cup Centenary – an event which is, as it was in 1919, so much more than just a race.
This historic event brings together the six nations who competed in 1919 – New Zealand, Australia, the UK, the USA, Canada and France – as troops waited to return to their home countries after World War 1. It was a celebration of survival and of camaraderie; our troops had seen the horrors of war, and survived, a number with injuries or illness, and the chance to row the Henley course gave them a positive focus after all they had endured. It provided an early chance to start putting their war experiences aside and to return to their pre-war lives.
One hundred years on, Germany and The Netherlands will join the original nations in this amateur athlete event which will honour the past, cement the relationships and alliances of today, and build towards the future of our nations, both militarily and wider.
Crews in 1919 were all male but the centenary event will be raced by mixed-gender crews – the first time men and women have raced in the same boat at an elite, international event. This mixed gender format is being embraced by New Zealand, and reflects the aim of the NZDF to achieve gender balance across the force.
Rowing, and in particular, this event, also reflects the value the NZDF places on the attributes of leadership and fitness; the nature of our many and varied roles across the NZDF attracts people who value and constantly display these attributes. Sport is a huge part of our culture in the NZDF, promoting teamwork, attention to detail, elevated levels of fitness and physical wellbeing, as well as building and restoring mental health resilience.
I wish all eight nations participating all the very best – row hard!
Air Marshal Kevin Short
Chief of Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force
The 1914 Henley Royal Regatta had been staged one month before the outbreak of the First World War. No Regattas were held during the war and by the time it finished, two hundred and fifty of the 1914 competitors had lost their lives.
On the 23rd of November 1918, just twelve days after the signing of the Armistice a letter appears in The Field urging the revival of Henley Royal Regatta. An editorial note underneath the letter stated:
”We have received several communications on this subject, and shall have something to say about it shortly.”
On January 22nd 1919 the Committee of Leander Club convened a meeting on Temple Island for all Clubs affiliated with the Amateur Rowing Club and Regatta Officials. It was widely attended and a motion carried unanimously:
“That in the opinion of this Meeting although it is not desirable that Henley Royal Regatta be held in 1919, an interim Regatta should be held in 1919 at Henley in June or July, and that the Stewards of Henley Royal Regatta be requested to undertake the management of such Regatta.”
On February 10th 1919 at a General Meeting of the Stewards, the resolutions of the 22nd of January were considered and it was agreed to organise an interim Regatta. Royal Henley Peace Regatta was born.
Much had changed during the War and there was an enormous amount of work to be done and the next meeting took place on the 26th of February. The Committee was to meet twelve more times before the end of June. By the time the Regatta eventuated it would have become a four day event and even then it involved two rounds of sculling raced on one day.
On the 23rd January 2019 Henley Royal Regatta announced The Return of the King’s Cup:
“We are delighted to inform Members that the 2019 Henley Royal Regatta will feature an extra event in commemoration of the centenary of the 1919 Royal Henley Peace Regatta.
For the first time, male and female military athletes will row in the same boat at an elite international event. The King’s Cup will see crews from the original six nations of Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the UK and the USA, joined by Germany and the Netherlands, competing in a knock-out format over the final three days of the 2019 Henley Royal Regatta.”