We always need new crews to ensure that the oldest regatta in the country can survive.
We currently invite entries for crews from pubs, clubs and port workers amongst others. We also hold mixed and veteran races. This year we are hoping to attract people from all walks of life who just want to have a good time and can keep fit too! We can alter our programme to insert races for any new categories. So if you are in say, the retail trade, this could be a new race – you could find yourselves racing against your retail market competitors!
The crews used to race in Gravesend Skiffs, which are 21ft oak replicas of clinker built boats. Some of these boats have been built locally by a skilled craftsman, who sadly passed away in January 2004. The original skiffs used to be worked by local watermen in their day to day business before the advent of powered motorboats. Basically, this included mooring duties, conveying passengers and carriage of light goods etc. The committee has now purchased four fibre glass clayton skiffs, which are very similar to the traditional wooden skiffs except that they are much lighter.
The races take place at Gravesend, on the Thames, in tidal conditions. The skiffs are four oared and coxed, with the sculls being 13ft spoon blades rowed singly. The seats are fixed. Typical courses are approximately 1 mile in length, racing past the promenade, incorporating a buoy turn, and returning to the starting position. Races are held for men, ladies and mixed crews and will include novice races (possibly with shorter courses) for those new to the sport. Trophies are presented to the winning crews at our annual presentation.
For further information or if you have any queries please contact Ian 01474 535022.