Want to get more race experience early in the season?

Fed up with getting knocked out in the first round by the eventual winners?

Then enter the Challenge8s at Thames Ditton Regatta!

Challenge8s combines a time trial (run side-by side in pairs so you can practice your side-by-side racing) and as full a set of finals as possible. This means you are guaranteed to get at least 2 races, and the crew you race in the final will be adjacent to you in speed rank (from the entries received), increasing the likelihood that it will be a close race.

Here’s how it works:

  • Entries should be made on BROE in the normal way, but crews will need to confirm on the day, 2 hours before the first race of the event, that they will compete. The first rounds will be redrawn in the event of scratchings.
  • Each crew’s first and possibly second race (depending on whether there is an even or odd number of entries) will be against RANDOMLY SELECTED other crew. Please note that it is possible you then race the same crew again in the final.
  • Both crews in all heats will be TIMED. As TDR uses a free start, to make times comparable across heats, timing will be done from a fixed point, which will be shortly after the start.
  • The TIMES from the heats will be used to determine which crews go to the A, B etc finals. Winning your heat is therefore not enough to guarantee you get into the A final.
  • The winners of the A final will get pots.

Pattern of races for different numbers of entries:
In various cases, there will be “petit” final/s. Do not enter this event if you’re not prepared to race a B, C or even D final. You will mess up the pattern of races for others crews. We’re laying this on so you can get race experience. If you don’t want the experience of racing when you’re an eensy weensy bit tired, don’t enter this event!

8 crews:
4 heats. Time all crews (winners as well as losers). That’s 1 race each.
A (2 fastest crews), B (3rd and 4th fastest crews), C ( etc) and D finals based on times.

9 crews:
9 heats.

That’s 2 races each already!

All races are timed, and take place in a block, so crews should remain on the water after their first race.

Finals A, B, C and D based on aggregate times. The slowest crew does not get a 3rd race.

Draw patterns for larger numbers of entries will follow the above for odd/even numbers of entries.

You obviously get rather a different experience depending on whether the number of entries is odd (most crews get 3 races) or even (all crews get 2 races). If it’s odd, you are only guaranteed to race 2 other randomly-chosen crews, although most will get a 3rd race against a more matched crew. If it’s even, your 2nd race will be against a crew that is next to you in speed from the crews entered.


Email (but do TRY to work it out for yourself by reading the above carefully first.)