Competitors and their Coaches should familiarise themselves with the following documents, printing out copies where appropriate:
TDR_Instructions_for_Crews_2019 (the contents of the rest of this page as a pdf for easy printing so that it can be read at the regatta!)
2018 Challenge8s – Notes for Competitors (these will be updated for 2019 following the close of entries)
General advice for coaches (particularly regarding boating from beaches)
To view PDF files, you may need to download the free Adobe Reader.
Competitors should also note that their British Rowing membership insurance is only valid for UK residents if they are resident in this country for more six months of the year.
Thames Ditton Regatta: 18 May 2019
Instructions to competitors
The race course is approximately 1,000 metres (upriver) between Thames Ditton Island and Hampton Court Palace from a free start.
Racing is expected to take place between 08.30 and 18.30.
- All the races are rowed under the current British Rowing Rules of Racing.
- The regatta follows British Rowing’s “Row Safe” document: a guide to safe practice and British Rowing’s Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy.
- All boats, equipment and belongings brought to this regatta are entirely at the owner’s
- All boats must have a compliant BR ID Code (e.g. KGS123).
- 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
- The draw, course maps, accident plans and other official documents are available on the regatta website thamesdittonregatta.co.uk
- Stations are Surrey (Regatta Enclosure and boathouse side of the racing channel) and Middlesex (Hampton Court Palace side of the racing channel).
- Crews must not paddle firm in the navigation channel – any crews ignoring this rule may be given an official warning.
Before first race
- Numbers should be collected from the Regatta Secretary’s tent near the finish.
- Coxes must weigh in before collecting numbers (wearing life jacket but not cox box) and bring their own deadweight (if required).
- One Empacher slot number and three crew numbers are provided (to be worn by bow on the back of their racing top, their warm up top, and by the cox).
- Challenge8s entrants must see the separate Challenge8s instructions.
- We have a map of our course with circulation diagrams for the start and finish/boating areas – please make sure that your cox or steersperson has read and understood it.
- Crews on the way to the start in the navigation channel must keep to the starboard side (green or bowside blade) next to the racing channel buoys (on the cox’s right).
- Crews returning from the finish to the boating area must keep to the starboard side as though progressing to the start then cross at the YELLOW flag on the Hampton Court side bank (about 15m downstream of Kingston Grammar School (KGS) boathouse) when the course is clear.
- You are responsible for your own safety: read and understand the Safety Plans.
- An ambulance with first aid will be in the enclosure area. Rescue launches will be on the water during racing, and for a short while before and after.
- 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.
- 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.
- BE SURE THAT THE RIVER IS CLEAR BEFORE YOU START TO CROSS THE RACING COURSE.
Boating – Keep a good lookout at all times
- There are 2 boating zones in the Regatta area – beware of conditions on the grassy bank/sloping beach. All crews should bring wellington boots or footwear suitable for boating in water. Blue flags will mark the two main boating areas. Crews may use the KGS landing stage with agreement from KGS Boat Club staff on the day but should NOT wear flipflops as the access to the landing stage is so steep these are dangerous.
Going on to the water
Boat with bows upstream towards the finish/Hampton Court Bridge. Crews should then wait for any races to pass before crossing the course quickly and turning in the navigation channel.
Returning from the finish
Continue to row a short distance beyond the finish line and then, having checked that there is no race coming up behind, turn into the navigation channel. Row along the navigation channel close to the buoys until you are level with the YELLOW flag on the bank on the Hampton Court side (about 15m past the KGS boathouse). When clear, turn and cross the racing lane and keep close to the bank to return to the boating area.
- All crews must follow the circulation pattern indicated on the regatta course maps.
- Crews must not practice racing starts or do full pressure bursts within the navigation channel or the marshalling area.
- The START will be marked clearly and there will be a Bank Marshal nearby and an On-Water Marshal.
- Crews are responsible for being in the start marshalling area at least FIVE minutes before their scheduled race time and ready to be on the start TWO minutes before their race time. Crews late on the start may be given an official warning. Crews should follow instructions from the Start Marshals, pair up with their opposition, and line up, in race order, with bows facing upstream (in the direction of racing) just downstream of the start.
- There is a navigation board which states “All boats must keep right”. This refers to non-regatta traffic. All racing crews must pass on the left side of the sign in order to proceed to the start.
- Non-junior crews may proceed downstream of the navigation channel which ends at 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 the Race
- Races will be aligned by an Official on the bank. All races are started by an on water Race Umpire as laid down in British Rowing’s Rules of Racing. Races will, as far as possible, will be started on time and without regard to absentees.
- If a race ends in a dead heat, crews will normally re-row the full course.
- During racing, crews must keep to their station. Check the course map – remember 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.
- The umpire’s launch will normally follow the centre of the correct racing line.
Getting to the Regatta and General Information
- 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. From the west or the south go to the “Scilly Isles” roundabout where the Kingston Bypass joins the A3. Take Hampton Court Way north BUT note that there is no right turn from Hampton Court Way into Summer Road, so go over Hampton Court Bridge, go right round the roundabout and double back on yourself so you can turn left into Summer Road. Alternatively, you can turn right at the first roundabout (Ember Court Road) and then the first left under the bridge (Speer Road) but this is not recommended with anything larger than a very small trailer and short vehicle. Aragon Avenue is a residential road with families and children. Please drive slowly. The residents will have parked their cars off the road to help us, but we rely on you, the drivers, to say thank you.
- Driving to the Regatta for competitors and supporters – parking is available in the local area, please use the neighbouring streets respecting the local residents.
- 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.
- Please inform the Entries Secretary if you wish to bring a club gazebo. We aim to accommodate all club gazebos but forewarning will enable us to (hopefully) find sufficient space.
- Boat Storage: No racking is provided. Please park trailers as directed, as far back from the river as possible without blocking emergency access on the path 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 in the KGS boathouse compound.
- There are two blocks of portaloos on site, one near the boating area, and one near the finish area and results board. There is also a toilet for those with disabilities at KGS boathouse.
- The regatta will provide each club/school with a clear bin bag (for all recyclable rubbish) and black bin bag (for non-recyclable items). There will also be recycling and litter bins throughout the site. Please do your bit to save the planet and to help us keep the site clean. In particular, please remember not to abandon empty water bottles in the boating areas.
- Crews who win finals should bring their British Rowing Race Licenses to the Regatta Secretary’s tent as soon as possible after their win to collect their pots/medals. Large trophies may not be taken away.