How long does the regatta take?
The regatta runs over Friday and Saturday, starting at or before 9am on both days, and going on after 7pm. Sometimes we have eliminating races on Thursday evening.
How do I get there?
Please see our contact page.
Can I become a subscriber?
Yes please. It means you get on our mailing list, you can get entry tickets in advance, you get your name in the programme and, most of all, because you pay up front it gives the regatta committee reassurance that we can run the regatta. We ask you to pay what you feel, and in return you can ask for a number of tickets for entry, but, if your contribution appeared to be less than the value of the tickets you asked for, we would feel jolly miffed. On the other hand, and above all else, being a subscriber gains you the undying gratitude of the Committee.
Who can enter?
Anyone, subject to age restrictions on the junior and veteran events. There are practice sessions available afternoons and evenings at Wargrave and Shiplake for three weeks before the regatta. Practice is advisable as dongolas are not easy to steer and other events are harder than they look. If you need assistance at practice, someone will surely help, if only to protect our boats!
How do I practice?
Use of the practice boats is restricted to those who have had an entry to the regatta accepted. Details will be given on this website each year, and on the entry form, but basically you must ring one of two numbers to book a slot in either Wargrave Boating Club or in the regatta field, accessible from Shiplake. We get very ratty if people mess about at practice, so be warned.( see next para)
Why might my entry be rejected?
We are normally oversubscribed and have to turn away entries, on the basis of first come first served plus some other complicated but extremely fair rules. If you get your entry in at least a week before the entries close, ON PAST EXPERIENCE, you should get accepted. However in 2005 entries for double punting in canoes were filled by the end of June (although things are now better because we have three crews for first round races), and in 2006 entries for the Boys Double Sculling were filled by early June. ( Also see the paragraph above for another reason your entry might be rejected)
Can I help clear up after the regatta?
Yes, yes, yes. The Sunday after the regatta we have to clean up the field, to the last cigarette butt, take the boats out of the water, wash them and stack them. Apply at the control tent during the regatta if interested.
What is a Dongola?
A dongola is a punt paddled by six people of a minimum of two must be female. It is a common first try at the regatta for many competitors. It is easy to learn, is great fun if you have tough knees, but difficult to steer.
Who supplies boats etc.?
The regatta provides all competitors’ boats, and also sculls for the sculling and dinghy events. For other events there are paddles and punt poles available for hire, for each race, but not a limitless number. In the past we have normally been able to provide for all those that need them.
Can I come just to watch?
Yes. We charge an entry fee at the enclosure gate, and the ticket gives you two glorious days of river fun. If you come by car to the Shiplake side we will also charge you for car parking. If you are a competitor, your competitor badge gets you into the enclosure. Please wear badges at all times.
Is there a dress code?
Not really. We expect decency, but most people are running around in rowing kit most of the day. The umpires are always looking immaculate. The Committee dress up smartly for the prize giving and we would like others to do so but we have not yet succeeded. Ladies are not required to wear hats.
Is there a Ferry?
There is a ferry from the George and Dragon in Wargrave to take you to the enclosure. The ferryman will charge you to get across but you must also pay us to get into our enclosure.
Can I bring a picnic?
Yes certainly, but we have a nice lunch tent and bar. BBQs are banned for obvious reasons as are loose dogs, bicycles in the enclosure and football matches and anything else that might qualify for an ASBO. In 2005 we first had a small area with chairs available for those that wish to sit quietly and watch the racing. This should continue. Some other chairs are available for those that get to the regatta early, very early.
May I erect a gazebo inside the enclosure?
Families and friends tend to set up camp on the bank for the two days excitement to watch, socialise and have their picnics. Space on the bank is available to all but on a first come first served basis. The first arrive shortly after dawn each day. The Committee reserves the right to, and does, reduce the size of excessive camps. Gazebos may be erected behind the line of the flags, only, to allow the controller, and others, to see the course.
May I bring my enormous motor boat and park it on the bank blocking the course and everyone’s view?
No, but you may bring a small river craft and moor where the Committee, in its wisdom, believes it is likely to be safe for other river users and not obstruct the course. We can take no responsibility for boats moored on private land. There is normally some space for cruisers towards the railway bridge, above our middle start line, on the right hand bank going upstream. If you moor in the wrong place several people will tell you pretty quickly and ask you to move. There is competition for the best spots with people arriving on Thursday. If you want to watch much of the racing you will need to walk down to the main enclosure. Don’t forget to buy your enclosure tickets, £10 for the two days in 2017, even if you do not go into the enclosure.
What time are the Fireworks?
Our fireworks spectacular will be held on Saturday night at 10pm.