In 2015 to commemorate 800 years since Magna Carta was sealed nearby, Egham Regatta became the Magna Carta Egham Regatta and took place on Sunday 28 June. Whilst the regatta offered its usual rowing & skiffing events, due to the slightly longer course, it did not offer any punting or junior skiff races that year.
To mark this important constitutional anniversary, the Regatta relocated slightly upstream from its usual location so that the public could watch the racing for free from the National Trust land at the Runnymede Meadow whilst crews raced two abreast over an 800m course every 3 minutes throughout the day from the upstream end of Magna Carta Island to a point downstream of the ruins of Ankerwycke Priory.
The date of the 2015 Regatta was just 2 weeks after the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede on 15 June 1215 & coincided with the period 800 years ago when the Barons were dispersing from the Runnymede meadow. Given the importance of the river & the role it played in 1215 in the communications between the King at Windsor & the Barons camped at Runnymede, the Regatta was be the perfect conclusion for the en-site Magna Carta commemorations.
The Regatta offered all competitors a commemorative trophy to mark their involvement in this special event as the Organising Committee of Egham Regatta (largely formed from the nearby Wraysbury Skiff & Punting Club) felt that the regatta’s history & proximity to the land on which Magna Carta was sealed, warranted special arrangements to be made for the 2015 regatta.
You may be interested to know that we administered the safe outcome of 216 races involving 550 junior rowers, equating to a race every 3 minutes for almost 11 hours! We finished just 6 minutes behind schedule. Collectively our competitors raced a total distance of 345.6 kms beside the Runnymede Meadows on a course that had never been raced before!
For more information about other Magna Carta 800 events that also took place, see the links below.
NATIONAL TRUST – http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/runnymede/
THAMES ALIVE RIVER RELAY: http://www.thamesalive.org.uk/magnacarta/default.asp
MAGNA CARTA 800: http://magnacarta800th.com