One of the prestige sporting events of the year is Henley Regatta, which attracts the best rowing exponents from all over the World. We’d known George Thomas for many years as a radio presenter but had no idea he was an avid rower as well.
So when he asked if we’d look at the idea of an event radio station for the Regatta we jumped at the chance. The trouble with rivers is that they tend to be in valleys, and radio doesn’t get out of valleys too well – so we looked for a reasonably good transmitter site nearby which would be linkable to a studio down by the river.
The major mobile phone companies install temporary cover installations known as Mobicells for big sporting events and for Henley they all use one particular field owned by a large farm agency half way along the course. George knows the company well, and the executive tasked with the arrangement said she’d get one of the mobile companies to let us use their installation. Having tried to achieve this sort of thing before we had very grave doubts whether it would ever come off, but to our surprise, o2 proved most receptive and helpful – to the extent that we’ve now completed broadcasts with the same format five years running.
We install one of our full-specification studio complexes in a pair of large rented executive portable offices adjacent to the car park at The Club and link up the hill to a splendid and very expensive Mobicell where all the rigging is kindly done for us each year using the toughest cherry-picker you ever saw.