In 1932, a young woman called Daisy Borne was rowing for a recently formed club called Alpha Ladies Amateur Rowing Club. Her father, keen to encourage her, presented the Club with a silver trophy for best eights. During those prewar years there were few races for women, the only other regular regatta events for womenís eights being one at the Weybridge Womenís Regatta and the Lady Fletcher Cup organised by St. Georges LARC.
The committee minutes of Alpha L.A.R.C in 1935 show that there were nine entries for Borne Eights that year. These were Lyons, Ace, Stuart, Cleavely, St. Georges, Weybridge, Civil Service, United Universities and Alpha. Cups were given as the first prizes and tankards for second prizes. It was won by Civil Service with Alpha second. In July 1939 the race was scheduled for 22nd October but by 1st October it was decided that under war-time conditions it would be impossible to run the event as usual.
The Second World War put a stop to all of this. Club membership was very low. The record books of Alpha show invitation races with crews made up of members of a variety of clubs. The Borne Cup race did not take place again until 1947 when the prizes included silver spoons bought with a donation of ten guineas from Mrs. Borne.
The first record of two events being raced is in 1953, and in 1955 there is a record (and photographic evidence) of Alpha sinking in a heat.! In 1956 arrangements were made for the races to be run at Weybridge. Clinker boats were borrowed for the Hamblin Cup race and arrangements were made for the collection of boats from the Lea as well as Putney and Chiswick with contributions towards the cost being requested from competing clubs. This arrangement continued in 1957 when Leiden University sent a crew for the Shell Division. There is little information from 1961 until 1974 when the races were from Barkerís Rails to the new Hounslow Boathouse which opened the previous year. In 1975 an event for single sculls was added to the programme. 1978 brought the inclusion of Junior U16 in restricted fours and in 1980 the Borne Cup was for open crews and the Hamblin Cup for Sen C. Menís.
1980 brought a name change to Borne Regatta dropping the ďEightsĒ and an increase in the variety of events offered. For the first time, in 1981 the regatta produced a significant profit. In 1982 menís Vet C. IV- was offered as there was a dearth of races for menís vets available. In January 1984 Putney Amateur Regatta wrote requesting an opinion on their offering ladies events in their regatta held on the same day as Borne. Borne Regatta resisted this suggestion, and remained a Womenís regatta for another four years before becoming a regatta for both sexes. By the mid-1990s the committee decided that the Regatta needed a name that related to where it was held and it became The Borne @ Chiswick Bridge Regatta.
The 1980s and 1900s were a struggle and in 1999 neither Borne or Putney Amateur Regatta was run because of low entries. In 2000 Putney Amateur Regatta again decided not to run but handed over all their entry forms and fees to the Borne Committee. In 2003 Borne decided they would not run the Regatta.
In October of 2004 Nina Padwick decided that it was time to run the regatta again. Ronnie Lambe offered to act as Secretary and we drew together a committee of experienced people including Pauline Churcher, Ken Williams and other friends. The 2005 Regatta was savaged by terrible weather, but the Regatta has continued to build steadily over the last few years proving a popular event for masters, novices and juniors. In 2010 we had some excellent racing in mixed coxed fours, which provided point-free racing for all worried about such things yet some fun competition and of course a pot at the end for the winners. We hope to see many past winners in all categories return in the future!