Molesey Regatta was founded in 1867 by the committee of Molesey Boat Club one year after the founding of the club itself - on a wave of optimism.
The 1867 regatta was highly successful but took up a lot of club resources and led to the conclusion that it was "too onerous an undertaking to continue". Five years later the regatta was restarted by local businessmen and MBC members, independently but with the support of the club – and it has remained that way since. The Regatta Committee is still assisted considerably by the club and contributes to the club financially whenever possible.
The Regatta Committee now manages four affiliated events – Molesey Amateur Regatta, Molesey Junior Regatta, Molesey Veteran Head and Molesey Junior Head (the last two known collectively as ‘Molesey Head Races’).
Over the two days in 2019, the summer regatta had over 400 races. Almost fifty clubs from the Midlands to the South Coast entered – rowing clubs, schools and universities – in 28 senior and masters’ events and 20 junior events, all mixed. By contrast in the late 1890s there were only 30 races – partly in recognition of the need to accommodate the hundreds of boats with spectators on board. In 2020 almost 250 crews entered the Molesey Head Races in a full range of masters’ events and with the junior head concentrating on younger first-time rowers.
The regatta’s objective is to put on high class well organised racing accompanied by appealing entertainment for competitors and the local community music all day, a beer festival and bar, various types of food and a small fairground.
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