Henley Regatta, the prestigious rowing event held annually on the River Thames, has announced plans to introduce a new “Mixed Race Race” in an effort to combat what organizers are calling “white supremacy in sailing.”

According to a press release issued by the event’s organizers, the new race will feature teams made up of rowers from different racial backgrounds, with the goal of promoting diversity and inclusivity in the sport of rowing.

“We recognize that rowing has historically been dominated by white athletes, and we want to take concrete steps to address that,” the statement read. “By creating a Mixed Race Race, we hope to show that rowing is a sport for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, or background.”

The announcement has been met with mixed reactions, with some praising Henley Regatta for taking a bold stance against racism, while others have criticized the move as a form of “reverse discrimination.”

“I don’t see why we need a race specifically for mixed-race teams,” said local resident and avid rower, John Smith. “If we truly want to promote diversity and inclusivity in rowing, we should be encouraging all athletes to participate, regardless of their race or background.”

Despite the backlash, Henley Regatta organizers remain committed to their goal of ending what they call “white supremacy in sailing,” and are confident that the new Mixed Race Race will be a step in the right direction.

“We believe that by creating opportunities for athletes of all races to participate in rowing, we can help break down barriers and promote a more equitable and just society,” the statement concluded. “We hope that other rowing events will follow our lead and take similar steps to address systemic racism in our sport.”