Reading Amateur Regatta - Rules & Regulations

Reading Amateur Regatta is held under the rules of British Rowing and the British Rowing Rules of Racing will apply. Further the Regatta conforms to the 'RowSafe' guide.

This page will set out the most important information for Coxes and Competitors. Please ensure you familiarise yourself with the course by having a look at the course maps at the bottom of the page.

Competitors and Coxes must familiarise themselves with the contents of this page!

Also read our regatta Safety information using this link

You can download a general overview map of the Regatta Site and Course in PDF format here.

Competitors' Instructions

Reading Amateur Regatta is held under the rules of British Rowing and the British Rowing Rules of Racing will apply. Further the Regatta conforms to the 'RowSafe' guide.

All enquiries should be directed to the Entries Secretary.

1. Entries

1.a Withdrawals

Any withdrawals before race weekend should be reported via BROE2 as soon as possible. Withdrawals/scratches on the day of racing should be reported to Crew Stewards as soon as possible.

1.b Substitutions

Substitutions can be made using BROE2 until TBC xxth June. Any substitutions after this time must be made through made through Crew Stewards. Substitutions must provide a valid British Rowing licence or they will not be accepted.

1.c Doubling-up

There are two divisions on each day and competitors may participate in both. No doubling up of competitors (including coxes) within a division will be permitted. Any crews that are found to have doubled up competitors within a division may be disqualified without warning.

2. Site Access & Trailer parking

The Reading Amateur Regatta is held on the river Thames, along the Thames promenade, next to Caversham Bridge in Reading.
Car parking (for competitors and general public) can be accessed from Thames Side Promenade, through the car park behind Reading Rowing Club. For satnav use: RG1 8BD. Parking will be charged at £3 per vehicle per day or £5 per vehicle for two days.

2.a Parking for Trailers

Trailer parking can be accessed from Thames Side Promenade, through the car park behind Reading Rowing Club. Vehicles towing boat trailers or carrying sculling boats will be directed to a designated boat parking area.
Trailers may park from Friday morning; this should be arranged with the Site Manager in advance (tel. TBC, e-mail: to ensure access. On the race weekend, the site will be open from 0500 on Saturday and Sunday mornings and close 2 hours after the last scheduled race of the day.

Trailers may be left overnight; however, this will be at the owner's risk.

Trailers may be left on site until Monday morning; this must be arranged via the Site Manager in advance.


Any site access issues should be reported to the Site Manager immediately.

3. Registration

3.a Initial Registration

Crew registration and weigh-in will be in the Crew Stewards office which will be located in a marquee along with Regatta Control.
All entries will be confirmed at initial registration; it is vital to disclose any substitutions at this point. The identification and notification of substitutions remains the responsibility of the crew. The discovery of any undeclared substitutions may result in the disqualification of the crew.

3.b Weighing in

All coxes must weigh in with their life-jackets (which must adhere to rule 7-2-7a of the Rules of Racing) at Crew Stewards, where they will be issued with a weight slip; this will be checked during boating. Any coxes under the minimum weight (as per rule 7-2-7d of the Rules of Racing) will be required to provide their own deadweight; the deadweight requirements are listed under rule 7-2-7f of the Rules of Racing.

3.c Registering for finals

All members of crews boating for finals will be required to present their British Rowing cards for formal identification, and to receive a 'final certificate' required for boating. Cards will be retained and returned to the crew after the final.

4. Boating

Crews should be afloat at least 20 minutes before their scheduled race time. It is the responsibility of crews to report to the start in good time and crews should take into account river traffic conditions in deciding when to boat. The boating area crosses a busy public walking route. Every care should be taken when carrying equipment through areas where members of the public and Regatta supporters are present.

Crews must make equipment and coxes' weight certificates available for inspection by the Control Commission before boating.

4.a Boating from rafts

Crews should boat with their bows pointing upstream (towards the start). The boating area crosses the race finish line; crews should ensure that the finish area is completely clear and cross promptly (with full crew rowing) to the navigation channel along the farther bank.

All outbound crews must be in the navigation channel before they pass the finish buoy.

Boats and blades shall not be left in the access area between the Finish and Reading Rowing Club. There will be a marked-off area immediately behind the Enclosure where boats and blades may be left between races.

4.b Practice Outings

Boating is under the supervision of raft marshals. Crews going afloat to practice prior to racing should advise the raft marshal whether they intend to land again before racing, or stay on the water until their race time.

5. Rowing to the start and marshalling

The navigation channel is also used by other river traffic, which have equal rights of navigation. Crews proceeding to the start must avoid impeding other river users, particularly vessels travelling downstream in the navigation channel.

A channel marshal, with assistance from the safety boats, will be responsible for maintaining the flow of river traffic and will police the movement of crews in the navigation channel.

5.a Special note about cruisers

The Caversham Lady, Caversham Princess and Princess Marina operate cruises from a jetty downstream of Reading Rowing Club. Coxes and steerspersons should make themselves familiar with the following signals that will be used by these vessels when manoeuvring:

  • One short whistle blast --> changing course to starboard (right)
  • Two short whistle blasts --> changing course to port (left)
  • Three short whistle blasts --> reversing
  • Four short whistle blasts / short interval / one short blast --> turning with bows moving to starboard (right)
  • Four short whistle blasts / short interval / two short blasts --> turning with bows moving to port (left)
  • Five short whistle blasts / --> please make your intentions clear
5.b Practice starts and firm pressure

Practice starts and firm pressure paddling are not permitted in the navigation channel or in the start marshalling area. Failure to observe this rule may lead to disqualification from the Regatta.

Crews wishing to practice starts or to paddle firm shall proceed well beyond the Gut immediately above the Saturday start area, and clear of crews waiting to race. Crews wishing to proceed beyond the marshalling area are advised to inform any start marshals of their intention. It is the sole responsibility of the crew to report back to the start marshal in time for their race.

Coxes and steersmen proceeding about the start should note that normal navigation rules apply once clear of the Regatta course; crews must take care not to interfere with other river traffic. There is no safety boat cover beyond the immediate vicinity of the Regatta course.

5.c Proceeding to the start

Crews are required to obey all instructions from marshals, regardless of their prescribed warm-up plans.

Crews shall identify themselves to the start marshal when passing the start pontoon while processing upstream. On Saturday, crews should continue through the Gut, where marshals will be in place to instruct competitors where they should spin and wait for their race. On Sunday, crews must remain downstream of the Gut. Crews must obey all instructions from marshals or risk either an official warning or disqualification from the regatta.

After reporting to the start pontoon, crews shall pair up with their opponents. Crews paired with their opposition shall report to the marshal upstream of the start pontoon 4 minutes prior to their scheduled race time.

Crews should proceed to the start when directed to do so by the marshal. Crews who have to stop in the Gut shall do so in single file to ensure that other river traffic can continue to pass freely.

5.d Getting onto the start

The start on both days is set from stakeboats. We expect that competitors will be able to get onto the start unaided, and are practised in the following procedures:

  • Get attached to the start quickly and cleanly.
  • Know which station is which, and the one they are allocated for their race.
  • Respond quickly and clearly to any steering instructions given by Regatta officials (and not just during a race) and that they can do so unaided, without the intervention of a coach or Regatta official.

Competitors who are clearly not competent in any of these areas may not be allowed to race, in the interests of their own and other competitors' safety. We ask that club captains and coaches ensure that their competitors (particularly Juniors) are trained in these basic manoeuvres.

6. Rules of Racing

6.a The Course

There will be a stagger at the start to take into account the stream conditions on the day, thus equalising the course. The stagger will be aligned using the sterns of the boats.

Crews are required to remain in the lane in which they start and to obey instructions from the umpires to maintain safe and fair racing.

6.b Racing Timetable

Races are timetabled to allow competitors the longest possible interval between races.
Doubling up of competitors is not allowed as per Rule 10 of the Rules of Entry.
All timetabling issues must be communicated to Regatta Control as early as possible.
In the event of a dead heat, crews will re-row immediately over the full course.

6.c Prizes

Prizes may be withheld if:

  • Fewer than three boats actually compete in an event.
  • The British Rowing membership card of any member of the winning crews is not presented for updating.
    All finalists shall present their cards for verification prior to going afloat for Finals. They will be returned after the result of the event is known.

7. After the finish

7.a Clearing the finish

After finishing, crews shall proceed downstream, passing through the right-hand arch of Caversham Bridge, and keeping close to the central buttress. Coxes and steerspersons should be aware of, and give way to normal river traffic that will be passing through the centre of the arch. Crews should NOT proceed through the left-hand arch of Caversham Bridge. All crews should turn clockwise around the buoy in the pool downstream of Pipers Island.

7.b Landing

Crews shall return upstream as close as possible to the Berkshire bank (nearest to Reading Rowing Club) and continue back under Caversham Bridge, staying as close as possible to the Berkshire bank.

Crews waiting to land shall hold position just downstream of Reading Rowing Club until called to the landing stage by a raft marshal.

Crews wishing to warm down may proceed downstream of Pipers Island following normal rules of navigation. There will be no safety cover in this area. Crews are required to remain in the lane in which they start and to obey instructions from the umpires to maintain safe and fair racing.

8. First Aid and assistance

Reading Amateur Regatta conforms to the 'RowSafe' guide.

8.a First Aid Contacts

A First Aid unit will be located close to the Finish Tent. The Regatta Medical cover can be contacted through Regatta Control.Additional emergency medical support is available from:

  • Emergency Services: tel. 999
  • NHS Direct: tel. 111

The Regatta's location is: "Near Reading Rowing Club on Thameside Promenade off Richfield Avenue". There is a public telephone at Reading Rowing Club (tel. 0118 956 7091). Emergency telephones are also available at Regatta Control.

The Regatta Safety and Welfare advisors are:

  • Regatta Safety Advisor: Ms D. Neate.
  • Regatta Welfare Advisor: Mr A. Jones .
Both can be contacted through Regatta Control or on 07849 109764.

Two safety boats, crewed by trained personnel, will patrol the course throughout the regatta. Safety boats can be summoned via Regatta Control or a race official.

8.b Reporting incidents

All incidents shall be reported to Regatta Control at the earliest opportunity and not later than the close of racing. All incidents and near-incidents must be reported online to British Rowing by all parties involved within 24 hours of the incident occurring. Reports should be made online to British Rowing via

In the event of a junior being involved in an accident, the emergency contact will be identified from the competitors' entry form held in Crew Stewards. The named person will be called over the public address (PA) system and contacted by the mobile phone number given on the entry form.

This concludes the Instructions for Competitors, please also study the course diagrams below.

Regatta Maps

Circulation at the Finish & boating area