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Sir Steve Redgrave returns to open Marlow Town Regatta
MARLOW'S most famous son was back again to kick off the town's showpiece occasion and backed the changes made to this year's event.
Sir Steve Redgrave has been unable to attend the last two Marlow Town Regattas due to sporting commitments in America and Russia.
But he was on hand in Higginson Park to cut the figurative tape and start the celebrations this morning.
Fresh from his central role in the largest ever flotilla assembled on the tidal Thames, Sir Steve told those gathered for the opening ceremony that it was an honour to have led the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday.
See video below for opening speeches by regatta chairman Nav Ali and Sir Steve Redgrave.
Speaking to the Free Press, he explained how he would describe the regatta for anyone outside Marlow who was unaware.
“This is Marlow's weekend and our time to celebrate, party and have a lot of fun,” he said.
“I think the Marlow Regatta, as it was, was very much part of the Marlow community.
“As a kid growing up, born and bred in Marlow, what Marlow Regatta meant wasn't about people out on the water rowing, it was the town coming together, the enclosure, the traditional sides of the regatta, getting dressed up and it was a really special time.”
The Marlow Regatta outgrew Higginson Park, moving to Dorney Lake, with the town regatta being established in 2001.
Olympic great Sir Steve said: “Over the last 12 years it's been very successful.
“This year there's been some changes, with the picnic coming into the bigger enclosure and more of a family feel from that point of view.
“It will really be interesting to see how it develops over the weekend but I think it's quite a good move, we'll probably tinker with a few bits but I like the idea of what's happening.”
Making up the other half of Marlow's premier husband and wife team was Lady Ann Redgrave, who has stepped in to open the event in the past two years.
She joked that she was not sure who was supposed to be speaking today, but added some of her own thoughts.
“It's always great fun to be here,” she said.
“I think Marlow as a town does come out whatever the weather, especially this weekend and I wish the regatta every success.”
Testament to her family's love of the regatta, she said, they went to Friday night's fun fair, despite the rain.
See her speech in the video below.
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