Henley Royal Regatta

Transforming the most prestigious annual regatta in the world through digitisation


The Henley Royal Regatta is widely regarded as the premier annual regatta in the world, attracting rowers, coaches, and enthusiasts from across the globe. Renowned for its distinctively English ambiance, this unique event holds great appeal to teams, who aspire to participate and emerge victorious. 

Recognising the need to adapt to the modern digital age and maintain its esteemed position, HRR enlisted the expertise of Skylab in 2020 to develop a comprehensive digital strategy. The aim was to conduct an honest evaluation of the current state of affairs and outline a practical plan that would align with HRR's vision of becoming the foremost regatta globally. 

By undertaking this initiative, HRR sought to leverage the power of digital platforms and technologies to enhance the regatta experience for participants, spectators, and fans alike. The resulting strategy created by Skylab established actionable steps that would propel HRR towards its goal, acknowledging the need to balance tradition with innovation.  

By embracing digital transformation, HRR intended to maintain its reputation for excellence and elevate the event to new heights, ensuring its pre-eminence in the regatta landscape.  

Brief & Goals

An initial survey of the leadership team at HRR highlighted the following goals: 

  • Identify user experience improvements across all customer-facing platforms 
  • Explore how digital can add value to the membership proposition 
  • Identify operational efficiencies across the board 
  • Identify opportunities to create new revenue streams 
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Skylab set about auditing existing digital infrastructure, conducting stakeholder interviews and mapping as-is business processes.

After conducting a substantial amount of analysis, we provided a practical and achievable vision for the future along with a roadmap of projects and initiatives.


Through a strategic focus on user experience, digital innovation, operational improvements, and revenue diversification, Skylab have helped HRR to position itself as a leading force in the world of rowing, both on and off the water. 

Skylab is now well underway with HRR’s digital transformation having completed the following projects:

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New infrastructure on Amazon Web Services

We modernised the infrastructure to improve performance and reduce costs using a load balanced set up backed by automatic scaling groups to scale based on performance/demand. We needed to guarantee that web pages would load quickly during peak event traffic.

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New eCommerce platform

We launched a new eCommerce proposition on WordPress and WooCommerce.

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New website built on WordPress

We migrated the website onto WordPress to give HRR total control, enabling them with a bespoke theme and flexible modules to visualise their content into a sleek and easily digestible format.

Using rich media and video throughout, we reimagined the visual language and improved UX across the site.

By spending time to understand the key user journeys and site functions we were able to create an architecture that allowed for better exploration and engagement opportunities.

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Integration with membership and ticketing platform

We integrated the website with Spektrix, a ticketing and membership management platform.

This allowed HRR to sell digital tickets to their membership for the first time which was crucially important given the context of operating the event during a global pandemic.

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Integration with Regatta Results platform to display live race results on the website

We integrated the website with the HRR events platform so that racing schedules and results could be displayed to fans in real time. 

We worked closely with HRR’s broadcast partners, Sunset + Vine, to integrate daily live streams and highlights of the days races and event.

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Event Support

Prior to and during the event, the Skylab team fulfil support to HRR and their partners to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

This includes; pre-event functionality & environment testing, on-call critical support & bug fixing, and increased server bandwidth & monitoring.

Our innovative solutions

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We would love to have an informal chat and share our knowledge and expertise with you.