HTBS’s Tim Koch saw the marvellous barge Gloriana at Henley Royal Regatta. Tim writes,
HTBS has previously reported on the Gloriana, the 18-oared, 88 foot / 27 metre ‘rowbarge’ produced for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. While it looks magnificent from a distance, it is only close up that one can fully appreciate how it cost £500 000 / $785 000 and why £4000 / $6300 was spent on gold leaf. At this year’s Henley Royal Regatta, the Gloriana was moored at the pontoon and boat tent area for everyone to see.
On the day of the finals it was rowed over the course by 18 British rowing Olympians dating from the 1948 to the 2008 Games. They were part of a remarkable gathering of 170 men and women who have rowed for Britain in past Olympic Regattas. Their number included Paul Bircher and Michael Lapage from the 1948 GB Eight. At the prize giving ceremony this exclusive group sat behind the trophies, adding even more lustre to the occasion.
Lord Stirling, who underwrote the cost of the Gloriana project, has said that the craft will be around for ‘a couple of hundred years’. See it in close up and you can only agree.
(Photograph & copyright: Tim Koch)