Competitor Information

Competitors and their Coaches should familiarise themselves with the following documents, printing out copies where appropriate:

icon_pdf Instructions for Crews (the contents of the rest of this page as a pdf)

icon_pdf Challenge8s – Notes for Competitors 2017

icon_pdf Course Map

icon_pdf TDR 2017 Combined Casualty Accident Plan

icon_pdf Welfare Policy and Plan for Junior Competitors

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Thames Ditton Regatta 13th May 2017

Instructions to competitors

Racing times and directions

The race course is approx. 1,000m upriver between Thames Ditton Island and Hampton Court Palace.

Racing is expected to run from 8.30am to 6.30pm.


  1. All the races are rowed under the current British Rowing Rules of Racing.
  2. The regatta follows British Rowing’s “Row Safe” document: a guide to safe practice and British Rowing’s Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy.
  3. All boats, equipment and belongings brought to this regatta are entirely at the owner’s risk.
  4. All boats must have a compliant BR ID Code (e.g. KGS123). If you do not have one you could get an official warning. In addition, as the regatta is on Environment Agency waters, all boats must hold an Environment Agency license before going afloat. You can apply for licenses online here
  5. All junior crews must be supervised by a suitable adult who acts in loco parentis. This adult must provide their contact details at registration and be available at all times.
  6. The draw, course maps, accident plans and other official documents are available on the regatta website
  7. Stations are Surrey (Regatta Enclosure and boathouse side of the racing channel) and Middlesex (Hampton Court Palace side of the racing channel).
  8. Crews must not paddle firm in the navigation channel – any crews ignoring this rule will be given an official warning.

Before first race (at least 30 mins)

  1. Competitors (or a representative) must collect their number from the regatta secretary’s tent near the finish line which will be marked with 2 “feather” flags.
  2. Coxes must
    • Weigh in before collecting numbers (wearing lifejacket, not coxbox).
    • Bring own deadweight (if required to make minimum).
    • Store deadweight safely in boat (never attached to a person).
  3. Under British Rowing rules, the minimum weight limits for coxes are:
    • 45kg for J15 and under crews.
    • 50Kg for Women and WJ16-18 crews.
    • 55Kg for Open, Mixed and J16-18 crews.
  4. Numbers are to be worn by the bowman on the back of their racing vest and securely attached. If we cannot see your number, you may not be awarded your race. If a crew has a stern-loading cox, the cox should also wear a number.
  5. Challenge8s entrants must see the separate Challenge8s instructions.


  1. We have a map of our course and circulation diagrams for the start and finish/boating areas. Coxes, single scullers and bowsteers must understand these, including:
    • Boating area.
    • Marshalling areas.
    • Crossing points.
    • Race course in the racing channel.
    • The navigation channel alongside the racing channel.
    • The position and direction of other river traffic alongside the racing channel.
  2. Crews on the way to the start in the navigation channel must keep to the starboard side (green or bowside blade) this is next to the racing channel buoys – this is on the cox’s right.
  3. Crews returning from the finish to the boating area must keep to the starboard side as though progressing to the start; ask a marshal if you are unsure.


  1. You must read and understand our safety plans, you are responsible for your own safety.
  2. An ambulance with first aid will be in the enclosure area and rescue launches will be on the water during racing and for a short while before and after.
  3. All crews must conform to the requirements of British Rowing’s RowSafe. Boats may be checked and must comply. Coxes must wear an appropriate life jacket.
  4. A check by an official does not necessarily mean that all aspects of the boat are safe and no assurance of safety is implied or exists as a result of such checks.
  5. The Committee remind you that all boats, equipment and belongings brought to this regatta are entirely at the owner’s risk.
  6. Crews not boating from the regatta boating area should call race control before boating for their race.

Marshalling and boating

  1. Boating from Regatta boating area – beware of condition of the grassy bank/sloping beach following rain mid week. All crews should bring wellington boots or similar footwear suitable as crews boat in water. Blue flags will mark the main boating area.  Crews may only use the KGS landing stage with agreement from KGS Boat Club staff.
    • Going afloat to race: boat with bows towards the finish/Hampton Court Bridge. Crews should then wait for any races to pass before crossing the course quickly and turning into the navigation channel.
    • Returning from the finish: Row a short distance from the finish line and then once checked that there is no race coming up behind, turn into the navigation channel. Row down the navigation channel close to the buoys until 15m past the KGS boathouse. Then turn and cross the racing lane and keep close to the bank to return to the boating area.
  2. All crews must follow the circulation pattern indicated on the regatta course map. Crews must not practice racing starts or do full pressure bursts within the navigation channel or the marshalling area.
  3. Marshalling area and Start marshal location:
    The start will be clearly marked and there will be bank-based start marshals nearby. Marshals will endeavour to call up crews but each crew is responsible for their own timekeeping and must be on the water well before their race time and ready to be on the start 2 minutes before their race time. Crews late on the start will be given an official warning.
  4. While marshalling (waiting to race) stay in position; close to the bank, paddle on when necessary, no fast paced rowing (starts or firm pressure).Keep a good look out at all times.
  5. Report to the Start Marshal to ensure (s)he has your race number and knows which event you are competing in.
  6. When the Start Marshall calls you to the start obey all instructions. Crews are responsible for being in the start marshalling area at least 5 minutes before their scheduled race time. Crews should pair up with their opposition, follow instructions from the Start Marshal and line up, in race order, with bows facing upstream (in the direction of racing) just below the start.
  7. All Crews, with Novice and Junior crews in particular, should ensure that they are able to use the “two paddling with bow’s blade” technique.
  8. Non-junior crews may proceed beyond the navigation channel below Dittons Bend. If so, they should revert to normal navigation rules of the non-Tidal Thames and keep to the right hand side of the river.

During racing

  1. All races are started by the Umpires as laid down in British Rowing’s Rules of Racing and the decision of the Umpires and Judges is final. Races will be aligned by an Umpire on the bank and started from the water by the race umpire. Races will, as far as possible, will be started on time and without regard to absentees.
  2. All crews, particularly younger crews and coxes must understand Umpire instructions given from a launch including the use of bells, colour of flags, and the difference (white flag for directions; red flag to stop the race).
  3. If a race ends in a dead heat crews normally re-row the full course, listen to the Umpire.
  4. During racing, crews must keep to their station. Check the course map – remember to follow the stream around the bend in the river, and DO NOT cut into the bay near the regatta enclosure – IT IS DANGEROUS AND WILL SLOW YOU DOWN AS WELL AS RISKING INJURY TO YOU AND BOATING CREWS.
  5. The umpire’s launch will normally follow the centre of the correct racing line.
  6. After racing crews returning to the boating area must go into the navigation channel once it is safe to do so – be mindful of crews racing behind and motor boats in the navigation channel.

Getting to the Regatta and General Information

  1. Driving to the Regatta for Trailers – arrive via Aragon Avenue, Thames Ditton KT7 0PY. If you are unfamiliar with the area, avoid Kingston.
    Aim for Hampton Court Bridge, head south over it and take the first left after Hampton Court railway station into Summer Road. Then turn left into Aragon Avenue at the mini roundabout.
    There is no right turn from Hampton Court Way into Summer Road, so if you are coming from the “Scilly Isles” roundabout where the Kingston Bypass joins the A307, take Hampton Court Way (A309) north, go over Hampton Court Bridge, go right round the roundabout and double back on yourself so you can turn left into Summer Road.
    If you take Hampton Court Way north and turn right at the first roundabout (Embercourt Road), you can reach the regatta but the left you need to take under the rail bridge (Speer Road) is a very tight turn and questionable with a trailer.
    Aragon Avenue is a residential road with families and children. Please drive slowly.
  2. Driving to the Regatta for competitors and supporters – parking is available in the local area, please use the neighbouring streets, respecting the local residents. Full parking details are available here.
  3. Due to limitations of space and local Council By Laws only vehicles towing or carrying boats will be allowed into the Regatta Area via Aragon Avenue.
  4. Boat Storage: No racking is provided. Please park trailers as directed, as far back from the river as possible without blocking emergency access through the centre of the trailer parking area and as far upstream (towards Hampton Court Bridge) as possible. It is not possible to leave boats on the regatta site over Friday night. There is no storage space for boats or trailers in the Kingston Grammar School (KGS) boathouse area on Friday.
  5. There are two blocks of portaloos on site, one near the boating area and one near the finish area and results board. There is a toilet for those with disabilities at KGS boathouse.


  1. Crews who win finals should bring their British Rowing Race Licenses to the Regatta Secretary’s tent as soon as possible after their win. Please note that individual crew members who do not have their registration cards will not be able to collect their prizes. Trophies may not be taken away.