The Henley Royal Regatta is a highlight of the British elite's summer sporting calendar and social season. It's one of the best-run and supported sporting events in the world, and there's a reason they attached the word "Royal" to the name of the event as there's a good chance you might see some of the royal family attending the events.

Event fanatics and travelers are situated on the south side of the Thames River with the general public in Berkshire. The north bank across the way is luxury land which is comprised of private compounds, sponsors' tents and the exclusive Phyllis Court Club, a place you aspire to visit someday once you've made your rounds with the aristocracy. The good news is that the views of the regatta are perfectly fine on both sides of the river.

The Henley Royal Regatta isn't really that stilted as it sounds, though. You're also likely to see Olympic rowers, collegiate enthusiasts and jetsetters from all over the world who converge on this lovely English countryside each year.

If it's your first time, it can feel like you've crashed a reunion. The dress code for women are conservative summer designer dresses or skirts down to the knees and men are wearing blue blazers and maybe a bow tie while they're lamenting the passing of the Iron Lady. The drinks of choice are Pimm's and lemonade, champagne, and the ever-trusted gin and tonic.

There are 20 events in total and nearly 200 races within the Henley Royal Regatta, with the most prestigious row being the Grand Challenge Cup for Men's Eights where you'll see a few Olympians. Dozens and dozens of crews from all over the world converge making for a truly international event. And, after years of women being prohibited from participating as part, there are now women's races as well. Best of all, the races are side-by-side rather than multi-lane events. This is a less forgiving format and creates more competition. We recommend that you and your regatta compatriots each pick a rowing team and then become groupies for that team. Follow them around, root for them, and stage the age-old tradition of throwing the member of your group whose team gets the best results into the Thames.