Organised by the Bedford Regatta Committee under British Rowing's Rules of Racing
and Guide to Safe Practice in Rowing over a course of 1,200 metres on the River Great Ouse from County Bridge to the Suspension Bridge


Event Details

For 2017 the Committee will run the Regatta under the old British Rowing competition rules.......

Eights and fours only, with a ‘Plate’ event for first round losers of all events marked * below with twelve or more entriesThis guarantees at least two rows for all first round competitors.

Winners of the Plate events will receive a prize, but WILL NOT gain British Rowing points as a result of their win.
The following events are offered, though we will be pleased to consider other events if there is demand. Please contact the Secretary if you have any suggested new events.

-          Engraved pewter tankards for ALL event winners; and
-          Medals for all plate winners.


Entry fees

Open (i.e. men and/or women)



(£80 if payment received
by Wednesday 7th May, 
£88 otherwise)

 Intermediate 1
 Intermediate 2
 Intermediate 3
 Intermediate 3 (club)
 Novice *

School 2nd
School 3rd
Junior 16
Junior 15 (1st eight)
Junior 15 (others) (#)
College *
Octuple J14 (1st boat)
Octuple J14 (others) (#)

 Intermediate 1
 Intermediate 2
 Intermediate 3   
 Intermediate 3  (club)

Octuple J14


(£40 if payment received
by Wednesday 7th May,  
£44 otherwise)

 Intermediate 1
 Intermediate 2
 Intermediate 3
 Intermediate 3 (club)

Junior 16
Junior 15 (1st boat)
Junior 15 (others)

 Intermediate 1
 Intermediate 2
 Intermediate 3
 Intermediate 3 (club)

Junior15 (1st boat)
Junior15 (others)


(£40 if payment received
by Wednesday 7th May,
 £44 otherwise)

 Junior coxless
 Junior 16 coxless
 Junior 15 coxed
 Junior 14 coxed (1st boat)
 Junior 14 coxed (others)

 Junior coxless
 Junior 16 coxless
 Novice coxed
 Junior 15 coxed
 Junior 14 coxed (1st boat)
 Junior 14 coxed (others)


Events marked * above will run 'Plate' events if there are sufficient entries.

BROE entries close 6pm on Friday 28th April, or when we reach full capacity, whichever is earlier.  The draw will take place at Bedford Rowing Club from noon on Sunday 30th April.

The committee reserves the right to cancel any event unless at least four entries are received.  Crews will be moved to the nearest available status if there are insufficient entries in your chosen event; please indicate clearly if you do not want your entry to be ‘rounded up’ in this way.  In the event of the Regatta being over-subscribed, entries will be reduced in as fair a way as possible.

British Rowing (BR) Licences

All competitors representing BR clubs must have a valid BR competition licence and you must quote its number with your entry. Please check that your licence starts with the numbers 201305xxxxxx or higher. Licenses starting 201304xxxxxx or lower will have expired by the end of April 2013 and will be invalid. If you need to renew your licence, please do so through the BR in good time. You can renew Online via the BR website here.

Competitors representing clubs affiliated to Scottish Rowing, or to overseas clubs, are exempt from the BR licensing requirements providing they are representing a Club affiliated to Scottish Rowing or an overseas rowing association.

Overseas/Scottish crews must contact the BR in order to submit entries via BROE.

The British Rowing membership insurance is only valid for UK residents who are resident in this country for more than six months in a year.

Priority in Accepting Entries

In all previous years at Bedford Amateur Regatta we have received more entries than we can cope with in a single day. It is just as disappointing for us, as it is for you, to have to turn entries away.

Our limitation is the number of races that we can stage - 11 hours of racing, with races at 2 minutes intervals lets us have 320 races.

We are quite systematic about how we decide which entries to accept or reject within an event, as follows. Entries are categorised as:

  • Confirmed - completed via BROE and payment received.
  • Provisional - completed via BROE, but no payment received.

Note that entries are placed on the confirmed list in the order in which the payments are received, and not according to the date of the provisional entry into the BROE system.

Hence in order to have the greatest chance of being accepted into the regatta we would recommend you enter early - with immediate payment. Last minute entries are unlikely to get in!!

Entry Fees

All events cost £10.00/head (coxes free) for entries where payment is received by Wednesday 3rd May, otherwise £12 / head. 

  • £80 for all eights,
  • £40 for all fours/quads,

Once entries close and your entry is accepted you are liable for your entry fee whether you race or not.

How to make entries

Entries will open at the beginning of April and close at 6pm on Friday 29th April 2016 or whenever our maximum capacity is reached.
Payment by cheque payable to ‘Bedford Amateur Regatta’, posted to:
Entries Secretary,
47a, Church End,
MK40 4AS

Or via BACS or the credit card system on BROE.

Phone Entries Secretary on 01234 269122

Entry Confirmation
Entry confirmation will be e-mailed to the club contact nominated in BROE. If your club would like it e-mailed to someone else, please notify us on the above e-mail address.  Please ensure that your contact details are upto date on BROE to ensure that we are able to contact club representatives quickly and efficiently with any regatta information.

Doubling up is at the competitor’s risk and is ONLY permitted in any TWO events at the discretion of the Committee.  Such entries will only be accepted if they can be fitted in the programme, on the clear understanding that programme timing must be adhered to.


Notes and Conditions of Entry

  • Bedford Amateur Regatta is held under the BR rules of racing and will conform to the Rowsafe: Guide to Safe Practice in Rowing (
  • Competitors will provide their own boats, oars and sculls, which must conform to current British Rowing rules especially in respect of heel restraints and bowball security. All boats and equipment are brought to the regatta at the owner's risk. All boats must display their Environmental Agency identification code at all times.
  • The course is 1,200 metres, two lane. A pontoon start is intended unless conditions do not permit this. All races are bank umpired over the whole course.
  • Clubs may alter the details of their entries at any time up to the close of entries.
  • All events are subject to a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 16 entries (If the maximum is exceeded we will endeavour to create two divisions). Our aim is to allow as many people to race as possible within the confines of the racing day and creating a safe manageable day.
  • If the regatta is oversubscribed entries may be closed earlier.
  • Substitutions will be permitted on BROE up until Wednesday before the Regatta and within normal substitution rules ie: not more than half a crew. Any substitutions made on the day of racing must have their status confirmed with a valid BR card.
  • Crews will be moved to the next higher status if insufficient entries are received. Please state clearly if you do not wish to move.
  • No doubling up or boat sharing is allowed in any one event. We will endeavour to arrange the timetable so as to minimise clashes between events, but reserve the right to refuse entries where these impose severe difficulties in the scheduling of races. Doubling up and boat sharing is at your own risk.
  • Competitors may not enter more than two events.
  • Crews that scratch after the close of entries will be liable for payment of their entry fees. In the event of postponement or cancellation of the Regatta we will endeavour to refund entry fees on a pro rata basis once our unavoidable costs have been covered. In the event of a partial cancellation or cancellation of specific events on the day, no refunds will be made.
  • Please ensure that you include a contact name, address and telephone number so that we can return the draw to you and contact you when entries close if necessary. The draw will also be displayed on this website.
  • Please note that this event, in common with all rowing events, may be photographed by amateurs or professionals who sell their photographs. By entering you recognise that you may be photographed in this way.

Special note to coaches of inexperienced crews

We expect to have a full programme of races throughout the day at 2 minute gaps. In the last few years we have experienced some delays to races involving the most inexperienced crews. These delays have primarily been caused by the inability of the least experienced crews to back down and attach themselves to the start pontoon, or to cope with a cross wind at the start.

We wish to encourage all levels of grass-roots rowing and we all have to compete at our first regatta somewhere, but it spoils the regatta for other competitors including from your own club if the event is delayed by a small number of crews who aren't quite ready to compete. Please ensure that all your entries have sufficient watermanship skills to get themselves attached to the start promptly when called and then to stay straight.

If this is the first regatta your crew has ever attended, it might be wise to practise these skills at your own club before the regatta.

We reserve the right to prevent crews who cannot attach to the starting pontoons from racing.


Frequently Asked Questions

What sets Bedford Amateur Regatta apart from the rest?

  • This Regatta is for eights and fours only;
  • Pint pewter tankards are awarded to all winners of main events;
  • There are special ‘Plate’ events for events marked with a (*) on the poster above, allowing first round losers another opportunity to race;
  • Our entry fees represent excellent value at only £10.00/seat (coxes free) [NOTE: these rates are only for fees received by a notified date, a late payment penalty applies to fees received after this date]
  • Unfortunately the Rowing Almanack no longer includes a table of the number of entries to regattas, but we feel fairly safe in saying that Bedford Amateur Regatta remains one of the largest one-day river regattas in the country. We have been forced to turn away a number of entries in recent years as there physically isn't the space on the river or time in the day to run with more crews than we accepted. Clubs will be advised by post with refund cheques to follow where appropriate.

What events are offered?

  • See  details above for the wide range of events including J14 octuple and quad events for those crews who might wish to get some race practice before the National Schools Regatta three weeks later;
  • If there is sufficient demand, we will consider offering additional events. Write/phone/ e-mail your requests for additional events to us. Keep an eye on our page on the Bedford Regatta website for latest details.

How do the Plate events work?

  • All first round losers of events marked with a (*) on the entry details above with twelve or more entries are automatically entered into a new event for no extra charge. Entrants in these events are therefore guaranteed at least two rows (subject to programme timing - if you are doubling-up you may not have sufficient time for your ‘Plate’ event rows). The winners of these Plate events win a small (but very attractive!) prize and DO NOT attract status points;
  • If you are fortunate enough to receive a 'bye' straight through to the second round, unfortunately you will not go through to the Plate event if you lose your first race. Sorry, but the logistics of the draw simply do not allow it;
  • We require any crew that qualifies for a Plate event that decides NOT to participate to immediately inform Regatta Control as we have previously had crews waiting at the start for opposition that have not turned up.

What prizes do we provide?
  • Winners of all main finals (non-plate) will receive an engravd pewter tankard each, while "plate" winners will receive winners medals;
  • This year we will be presenting “runners up” medals for those events with more than four rounds of racing in recognition of the effort required to race the course so frequently during the day.

Am I entering the right status for my crew?
  • Please advise us when making your entry of any regattas that you will be attending that may change your competitors' racing points total before our Regatta;
  • Note that some regattas don't upload results instantly, therefore you may enter our regatta mid-week before the closing date and the points for your competitors haven't yet been updated. Please be very careful when choosing which events to enter to ensure that you are taking into account the 'actual' points total rather than the one shown on BROE, which may not be completely up-to-date;
  • We are delaying the draw this year to the Sunday before the Regatta in order that we can take any wins over the weekend into account. Regattas in the fortnight before our event that may affect your crews points totals include (inter alia):
    • Durham City;
    • Evesham;
    • York;
    • Wallingford; and
    • Chester.
  • We must know of any status changes by 10am on the Sunday before the Regatta in order that we can plan our draw correctly. To give as many crews as possible the chance to compete in the Regatta, we are unlikely to put 'status change' slots in the draw as we are leaving it as late as Sunday to perform. If you don't tell us about a win that affects your entry then we will NOT refund your entry fee even if this results in you not racing.

Can I compete in more than one event?

  • Yes, but doubling-up is at your risk and is ONLY permitted in any TWO events at the discretion of the Committee. Our draw software can detect where individuals are doubling-up, but not boats. To be on the safe side, any doubling MUST BE REQUESTED in the notes field on the BROE entry. Such entries will only be accepted if they can be fitted in the programme, on the clear understanding that programme timing must be adhered to.
  • With the co-operation of our competitors and the expertise of our umpires and marshals, we have built up an excellent reputation for racing a packed schedule on time. Our sophisticated draw software manages this by running thousands of iterations of the race timetable to avoid clashes of those doubling-up or boat sharing; it is only as good as the information that it is provided with so (at the risk of labouring the point) please clearly specify any doubling-up with each entry concerned.

What is a College crew?

  • For the purpose of Bedford Amateur Regatta we define a College Crew as one which is made up of students from colleges of higher education and NOT Schools with the title College.
  • All members of a College Crew need to be studying at the same College, composite crews are not permitted.

How do I enter the College events, I can't see them on BROE?

  • This is a quirk of the BROE system. The College events are not constrained to a maximum number of points, therefore are listed as Elite events, differentiated from the mainstream Elite events with '(College)' on the entry system, i.e. 'ELI.8+ College (+Plate)' and 'W.ELI.8+ College (+Plate)'. Please ensure that you enter the correct sex for your crew - we have 'Open' events rather than mens', so you will get no warning if you enter a crew of ladies into the open event. This could work in your favour, as a crew of men short of a body or two is quite legitimately entitled to enter some ladies into the crew.

Do I need to be registered with British Rowing for the 'College' events?

  • Yes. This is an open event under British Rowing's Rules of Racing, as are all of the other events on offer, therefore all crew members (including the cox) need to be registered. See the British Rowing Website for details of membership and application forms. We are told that British Rowing are returning applications by return of post at the moment so there is plenty of time to get registered before the day of the Regatta.

How do the 1st boat/'Other' boat events marked # on the events list above work?

  • It is the intention that these events are for clubs making at least one entry in the '1st boat' category, even if you are not entering your actual '1st boat' in the regatta. However, we are aware that some schools have entries for their first boats at other regattas instead of Bedford and would therefore look to make an entry in these events without making a '1st boat' entry. The Committee is minded to accept entries in these circumstances ONLY, not just because you don't feel that the crew would be competitive in the 1st boat event.
  • Please provide supporting information in the notes field of your BROE entry to justify any entries in the 'others' event where no '1st boat' entry is made. The Committee reserves the right to move or reject entries as it feels appropriate to ensure that these events run in the spirit that they are intended.
  • In the event of insufficient entries, crews entered in the 'others' events will be merged with the '1st boat' entries.  Please state clearly in the notes if you do not wish your "other" crew to race if this happens.

What are the School 2nd and 3rd boat events?

  • These events run on a large element of trust, in the same way as the '1st boat'/'Others' events as noted above. It is the intention to give meaningful races with a chance of victory to those crews that are not expected to be fully competitive in the main junior event. In order that these events are not qualifying for racing status points, the Regatta offers this as a special event that will be drawn on the day. You must enter the crew on BROE with the rest of your crews to gain a place in the draw. To make this happen, all entrants must be entered for one other event in the Regatta, the 2nd and 3rd boat events can then fall within the definition of a 'fun' event created on the day under British Rowing's Rules of Racing.

What are the Intermediate 3 "Club" events?

  • These were new for 2010, designed for crews from non-academic institutions who are fed up with getting thrashed in the first round by students or school crews. This is in response to a request from clubs, who are perhaps envious of the extra time that many school and college crews can devote to training than many club crews. We'll see: if there are sufficient entries then we will run the events, if not then any entrants to this event will be merged into the mainstream Intermediate 3 event. We are running these events in Open Intermediate 3 eights and fours only.

Travelling to the Regatta

  • Please note that due to the large number of entries normally received in Novice and College events, it is necessary to start these events early in the morning to accommodate the number of rounds. We therefore recommend you take this into consideration when planning travel arrangements. As a guide, entrants in the most popular events may be racing as early as 8.15am with finals as late as 7.30pm.

Can I make online entries using BROE (formerly OARA)?

  • Yes, please see the British Rowing's race entry site for details. Cheque payment must be sent to the entries secretary to hold your place in the event. Please note that we are now accepting payment through BROE.

Can I pay by card?

  • If you wish to pay by card you will have to do this through BROE.

What about Environment Agency Boat Licensing?

  • Please note that ALL boats taking part in this year’s Regatta must be licensed with the Environment Agency. Any boats not licensed are liable to be fined by the Environment Agency. It is the responsibility of all competing clubs and NOT the Regatta to ensure that they have the requisite licenses.
  • Day licences are not available from British Rowing OR the Regatta but can be obtained directly from the Environment Agency. See this information from British Rowing for further details.

What is the Regatta's cancellation policy?

  • Entries cancelled or withdrawn prior to the draw will receive a full refund.
  • In the unlikely event of a total cancellation of the Regatta, we will endeavour to refund entry fees on a pro rata basis once our unavoidable costs have been covered. In the event of a partial cancellation or cancellation of specific events on the day, no refunds will be made.

N.B. You MUST, MUST, MUST have your valid Racing Licence (with photograph affixed) with you at this event, or you will not be allowed to take your prize home and may even be prevented from competing!!! British Rowing are turning around applications very quickly at the moment, so if you aren’t registered apply now.