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Revelry for an oar struck crowd

Date

Christopher Knaus

The Women's and Men's fours pass the finish line in the Champion of Champion's trophy race. Click for more photos

The Burley Griffin Regatta

All sorts of crafts and fashions were on display at the inaugural Burley Griffin Regatta. Photo: Graham Tidy

ORGANISERS remain upbeat about the future of the territory's inaugural Burley Griffin Regatta, despite a modest turnout on Saturday.

Boat shoes, bow ties and braces were the order of the day for the lakeside party, which was billed as an event for Canberra's ''chic and fashion conscious'' crowd.

The regatta brought revelry to the banks of Lake Burley Griffin, with DJ sets, drinks aplenty, fashion parades, fantastic views, and rowers and kayakers racing in the background.

The crowds were thin at the Pimm's Garden Party, which cost $90 per head, but the lavish corporate tent was full to capacity.

The organising team, from sports entertainment agency Signature 27, have described their first regatta as a success.

Company director Melanie Cairns said patrons were extremely positive about the event, despite the small numbers, and said she expected it would grow from strength to strength.

''In year one, we weren't expecting it to be Foreshore with 20,000 people, but it's about building the brand, and showing people that it's a great time, it's a great venue,'' she said.

''It's the old adage of build it and they will come … Canberra's a word-of-mouth town.''

Two men clearly soaking up the atmosphere were Paul O'Keeffe, of Civic, and Allan King, of Red Hill.

The pair were part of a larger group that wore matching suits just for the occasion, which featured a crest reading ''Shock and Oar'' on the breast.

Mr King, who is a rower, said the lake was underutilised, and the group had jumped at the chance to support the event.

''We just wanted to give some oomph to Canberra because they have very few of these major events, we wanted to step out,'' he said.

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