Royal Canadian Henley Regatta
Date of Issue
August 4, 1982
Perforation or Dimension
Designed by Bernard N.J. Reilander.
The one hundredth Royal Canadian Henley Regatta will take place at St. Catharines, Ontario, from 4 to 8 August 1982. Named after its British counterpart, the Henley is the largest regatta in Canada. The International Rowing Federation recognizes the Henley as a world status regatta, the only one in North America to boast this distinction. In 1981, 1,300 rowers from 96 clubs in six countries participated. For the centennial, officials estimate that 2,500 male and female athletes from 200 clubs in 15 countries will compete. Spurred on by the exploits of Ned Hanlan and others, rowing attained great popularity in Canada during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. As a result of betting and other shenanigans, however, professional rowing gained a certain notoriety in the eyes of those who idealized amateurism. In 1880 a group of such individuals founded the Canadian Association of Amateur Oarsmen (CAAO), now known as the Canadian Amateur Rowing Association. The same year, on Toronto Bay, the Association sponsored an amateur championship regatta, the forerunner of today's Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. Subsequently, Hamilton, Lachine, Ottawa, Brockville, and Barrie as well as Toronto hosted the event. Tired of this nomadic existence, the CAAO sought a permanent regatta location and in 1903 found it the old Welland Canal. It met the specifications for a one-and-a-half-mile straight stretch of water, protected from the wind and easily accessible to Canadian and American oarsmen and spectators. In 1903 Ned Hanlan himself said this course was one of the finest he had ever seen. It has greatly improved since then. The federal government has dredged it twice. In all aspects, it has attained the qualities of a first-class international rowing course, a fitting locale for an event such as the Henley. The illustration for the stamp by Tom McNeely of Toronto depicts the dramatic finish of a race of fours (four-man racing shells, one sweep oar per man) before the judge's tower on the present Henley course near St. Catharines, Ontario. The stamp was designed by Ottawa graphic artist Bernard Reilander.
Canada Post Corporation. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1982.
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