The annual Henley Regatta starts today, read all about the famous rowing race here and click through our gallery of photos for a taster of what to expect

The Henley Regatta 2013 starts today, with races being held all the way through until Sunday.

The Henley Regatta was first held in 1839, and with the exception of WWI and WWII, it has been held annually ever since as a knock-out rowing competition. The course length is one mile 550 yards – 112 metres longer than the standard international distance of 2000 metres.

This year’s rowing race schedule is as follows: heats will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, quarter-finals will take place on Friday, the semi-finals will be held on Saturday, and the finals will take place on Sunday.

Prices vary, depending on which day you visit, with badges costing £17 tomorrow and Thursday, £23 on Friday and £20 on Sunday. Please note that all badges in the Regatta Enclosure for Saturday are now sold out, although there is still some availability for the Stewards’ Enclosure, where you must adhere to a strict dress code, including below-the-knee skirts and dresses for ladies, and lounge suits or jackets and ties for gentlemen. In addition, it is “customary” for ladies to wear hats.

Telephone and online booking has now closed so you’ll have to turn up on the day to purchase badges.

As it began long before rowing federations were established, the Henley Regatta holds the unique position of not being subject to the rules or jurisdiction of either British Rowing or the International Rowing Federation, but it is still recognised by both these bodies.

VIEW OUR GALLERY OF HENLEY REGATTA PHOTOS