Redhedge Asset Management (Redhedge) is investing in a rowing crew at Henley Royal Regatta, which will consist of elite athletes that have left the profession.
The intention is to reduce the financial demands on athletes, one of the main entry barriers into the sport through funding, while also providing elite rowers an opportunity to race again. Typically, rowers have full-time jobs, and consequently struggle to find the time to commit to extensive training programmes.
The crew that Redhedge is sponsoring in the Grand Challenge Cup – the oldest race at the regatta – is comprised of ex-international boat race and Henley winning athletes, some of which have won the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race.
In parallel with the actual race, Redhedge is hoping to contribute to charitable causes locally through various fundraising activities linked to the event.
Joseph Guppy, who has rowed internationally for Great Britain and will be participating in the race, explained the significance of the funding.
Mr Guppy said: “The reason why this is different to anything done before is because boats are never given the financial support to row at an event. Investment only happens at the very highest level (Leander, Great Britain) but never for club level athletes. Redhedge will be the first ever to support a crew such as ours from start to finish.”
Commenting on the launch of the new crew, Andrea Seminara, fund manager and chief executive officer at Redhedge commented: “The only people who ever benefit financially from participating in rowing competitions are those in the very top end squads, such as Olympians. This makes it very difficult for previous topflight athletes to compete at Henley or truly invest in the sport, as the commitment required is a full-time job. We are very excited to be investing in these athletes and strongly believe that every athlete, regardless of level, should be able to fully commit to the sport they love."
Maximillian Fisher, quantitative analyst at Redhedge, added: “Rowing was a very important part of my childhood and continues to be a sport with which I get involved. What is exciting about this partnership is that by giving ex-topflight athletes another seat at the table, the level of competition in the sport can only be driven higher.”
Established in 1839, Henley is one of the oldest rowing regattas in the world and has been a staple of the British sporting calendar for decades. The event attracts crews from around the world, and to the rowing community, it is regarded second only to the Olympics. This year, the regatta will take place over five days, between 11 and 15 August.