The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta rowing is at the absolute core of our Royal Regatta. The first recorded Regatta held on the River Dart at Dartmouth in 1822 was noted to include a rowing race for six-oared gigs ‘for which Dartmouth is very famous’ – according to the Exeter Flying Post. Rowing was then and still is, fiercely competitive and the highlight of the calendar for many visitors and locals.

Our Royal Regatta has become a ‘Mecca’ for rowing enthusiasts with its wide variety of rowing. Whaler and blue boats provide the attraction for local participants; fine boat rowing attracts crews from the south west and along the south coast to the final regatta of the West of England ARA ten regatta championship series; pilot gig rowing attracts the Cornish gig fraternity; FISA Coastal Rowing introduced into the Regatta in 2021 provides courses of 8 and 6 kilometres out to sea and back for clubs of the Southwest Coastal Rowing League; and initiated last year there is a programme of Seine Boat rowing.

Conditions for all of these multiplicities of rowing are ideal in helping to present a sporting excellence over eight days of the regatta.

The Regatta Competitor Programme will be printed nearer to the Regatta with the complete details of races but do buy a Regatta Souvenir Programme which features everything the Regatta has to offer.



In 1989 seven whalers in GRP/carbon fibre, based on the Yealm Crabber, much lighter than the old naval whaler borrowed from the Britannia Royal Naval College, were commissioned and sponsored by local businesses and organisations. This is where a new chapter started. Our Regatta whalers and cadet blue boats always make a very impressive, colourful sight for spectators, and are unique to Dartmouth.

Heats will take place on the Sunday and Monday before the official Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta starts, with the finals on Regatta Friday. The prize giving takes place on the Friday evening when you will see the Royal Avenue Gardens tightly packed with people waiting to hear the results and to see the winning crews receive their trophies! There may be a few beers involved…

Entry Forms

FISA Coastal Rowing

The Southwest Coastal Rowing League is the administrative body of Coastal Rowing in the region and oversees the nine events, including our Royal Regatta, which make up their annual Championship. Additional events are organised around the region in this rapidly expanding rowing concept.

Categories include coxed quadruple sculls, double sculls and single sculls for classes at open, women, 50+, 60+ and mixed.

The Dartmouth course has the start and finish in the Bight. The long course races start from the Bight, row out of the river, turn around the Mewstone, and return to the river to finish in the Bight. The short course races also start in Bight, row out of the river, turn around the Castle Ledge Buoy, and return to the river to finish in the Bight.


Seine Boat Rowing

The Regatta Seine Boat Rowing with the support of the River Dart Rowing Club.

Traditional River Teign Seine Boats are seventeen feet long and clinker built with English Elm bottoms and larch topsides. They were propelled by oars or sails and were usually named after the owner’s mother or wife.

Modern day Seine boat racing was started by Shaldon Regatta in the 1970s as part of the Dawlish to Shaldon rowing race. Wooden seine boats were borrowed from local fishermen, often for the cost of a bottle of something strong, and temporarily modified to be rowed by four people with a cox to steer.

In the early 1990s a somewhat bleary discussion in The Ferryboat Inn between several of the Shaldon Regatta committee, a boatman from Teignmouth, and a boat builder came up with the idea to build some boats in glass fibre……low and behold they remembered the conversation! And the first three boats were built, two for Shaldon Regatta and one for the boat builder.

Entry Forms


The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta hosts the final Regatta of the West of England ARA’s ten Regatta Championship series and it is a much-loved part of our Royal Regatta. This year it will be held on Thursday 29th August.

Categories include eights, coxed fours, coxed quadruple sculls, double sculls and single sculls, mainly over a 1,000 metre course between the Higher and Lower Ferries.

The nine other regattas that make up the Championship series are Appledore & Instow, Bideford, Exeter, Falmouth, Paignton, Plymouth, Torquay, Totnes and Wimbleball.

WEARA Entries: Emma Alderman

Bungee Rowing

Test your skill and strength against a bungee. Open to crews of four to row a whaler attached by a bungee to the Town Pontoon. The winning crew will be the crew to row the greatest distance.

Bungee rowing will return for the 2024 Regatta! 

Pilot Gig Racing

The pilot gig is a six-oared rowing boat clinker built of narrow leaf elm 32 feet (9.8 m) long with a beam of 4 feet 10 inches (1.47 m).

It is recognised as one of the first shore-based lifeboats that went to vessels in distress, with recorded rescues going back as far as the late 17th century. The original purpose of the pilot gig was as a general work boat, and the craft was used as a pilot boat taking pilots out to incoming vessels off the Atlantic Coast.

More details on what day the Pilot Gig Race will take place will be released soon.


Waterborne Tug of War

We are unable to stage this event in 2024.

Unfortunately, the tides are not convenient which is a great shame following the success of 2023. However, the event will return in 2025.

Do have a go at the Bungee Rowing which returns this year.

The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta is the trading name of the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta Limited, a company registered in England, No: 07728393 Registered Office: c/o Marsland Nash Associates Vantage Point House, Decoy Industrial Estate, Silverhills Rd, Newton Abbot TQ12 5ND

© 2024 Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta