Your Complete Singapore River Regatta Race Guide

On November 21, 2011 by Jean-Benoît_Delpy_Bourcart

Hello Paddlers



Here is your complete guide to the upcoming 29th Singapore River Regatta. There are quite a few changes this year so whether you’re a veteran of Boat Quay or a first-timer please read this guide carefully.

Date:…..Weekend of 26th and 27th November 2011
Reporting Time:…..Saturday at 07.30am (report to the British Dragons tent)
Location:…..Boat Quay (adjacent to UOB Building)
Getting there:…..Raffles Place MRT on the East/West line (Exit G – then a 3 minute walk to race site)

Upon arrival please report to Mifie and pay your $50. This fee covers race entries, personal registration, water and 100 Plus drinks on both days, lunch sandwiches on the Sunday and the team dinner at Red Dot (Boat Quay) on the Sunday evening.

A few points to remember this year at Boat Quay:

a) Four race lanes (instead of five)
b) A pontoon start (rather than “a rope from the bridge” start)
c) You will not have to wear a race tag ID (the organisers have crew lists with your photo included)
d) We will have our “Potluck” lunch on Saturday (with sandwiches from “Freshly Baked” on the Sunday)
e) The team will be going to Smith’s Fish and Chips for Supper on Saturday evening
f) The Team Dinner will be held at RedDot Boat Quay on Sunday (they are opening specially for us!)

All team members must be wearing a team racing shirt and team bandana (or cap) in order to race. No other shirts or headwear are acceptable. Please wear British Dragons shorts or dark blue or black shorts. Remember that footwear is compulsory in the boats.

If you need to buy kit for the race then email Kenny at so that she can bring your order along to the race.

Please limit valuables to essentials for the weekend as our marquee will not be fully secure.

Times and line-ups for races are subject to constant change so always:

  • Know which event you’re competing in (look at the posted team boat layouts);
  • Stay close to the team marquee;
  • Let the Committee know your whereabouts at all times when NOT close to the team marquee.

The weekend is usually a stressful time for the Captains as they have to juggle race logistics and organise boat layouts (a tricky task with many factors such as prior experience, training, injuries, paddling side, gender, weight, other race commitments and giving newer paddlers race experience all playing a role as to whether an individual paddler is selected to a particular crew and where in that crew their contribution can be best deployed to win a medal). Boat layouts can and do change for all sorts of reasons so please maintain the usual good humour and stiff upper lip that the British team are well known for. If you do have any feedback then the Captains will be pleased to receive it – but preferably when the races are out of the way.

Boat Quay is certainly an exciting place to start if you are new to racing – and you’ll also get to experience having a drummer onboard. But it is jam packed with people and often hectic. If you are new don’t be tempted to wander off to get a coffee or whatever if you think that you are not in a race – things can quickly change and you might find that you are needed in a boat RIGHT NOW! Plus you will want to attend all the warm-ups, briefings and visualisations so that you are ready to race if you are suddenly called (and also gain valuable experience about what racing entails). If you do need to go anywhere – even for a couple of minutes – then tell the Captains or a committee member.

Please eat well in the next few days. Carb load the night before the race (pasta, rice, etc.), get plenty of protein and make sure you bring along your choice of Berocca, Hydration Salts, Energy Gels and Bars, etc. Also have a hearty breakfast before setting out so that you will be in good shape for the all-important heats where we have to come first (if we fail to qualify in those then of course we will just sit empty-handed on the shore all weekend politely clapping the teams that have beaten us).

Supporters and friends are very welcome so do invite them to drop by and say hello! The regatta is always an exciting event to visit.

Remember to bring sunblock and water along to the race and please make sure that you hydrate well before and during the weekend.


Boat Quay racing is renowned for its “thrills and spills”. The lanes are tightly packed, the waters choppy (and churned further by passing Bum boats and Water Taxis), racing over 200m is fast and furious and the quay is thronged by over one and a half thousand paddlers and countless other supporters and spectators. Collisions and capsizes are quite routine and sometimes even spectacular.

If you are in a boat which does capsize then it is no big deal so long as you remember the following crucial words of advice from our Captains:

a) Do Not Panic!

b) Check that your row buddy has bobbed to the surface and is okay (if not raise the alarm and feel under the overturned boat)

c) DO NOT swim to the shore – wait for the safety boat to take charge and instruct*

(* This last instruction may leave you thinking “Huh?”, especially if you are in a boat which capsizes just a few metres from the shore and you could swiftly step onto dry land. But a capsize – especially if it involves boats with paddlers from different teams pitched together into the water – can be a very confusing situation for a few minutes. Once a paddler swims off to shore and disappears into the massed crowds watching then the whole thing becomes much more serious as it will be assumed that the person may be missing and this will cause great concern and likely a frantic search. So if you do end up in the water simply stay with your row buddy and check that the paddlers in the rows around you are accounted for and not injured. In this way it will be easy for the Captain and Cox to do a headcount for everyone and let the safety boat know that the whole crew is okay. Remember: stay with your team in a capsize until instructed otherwise).


Saturday will be our traditional “Pot Luck

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Lunch” so please plan to bring along some nutritious food to share with your team mates.

Saturday evening will see us visiting Smith’s Fish and Chips at Boat quay for supper and drinks at the end of the race day.

Sunday lunch will kindly be provided by our sponsor “Freshly Baked” (tasty sandwiches including vegetarian choices).

Our Team Dinner will be held at RedDot (Boat Quay) on Sunday 27th November right after the end of race (so you might wish to bring along a change of clothes and a towel to freshen up). The dinner is included in the race fee. If you haven’t done so you must make your choice of food here before midnight on Tuesday 22nd November (also guests and supporters are very welcome at $30 per person)

Please wear your drinking shirt on the Saturday and Sunday evenings and bring along your team membership card so we can get our freebies and rebates.


Just a reminder that we will be having our traditional Christmas Paddle on Saturday 3rd December 2011 (instead of training). This will be followed by a Beach BBQ in the evening.

You will already have received an invite from our Social Secretaries to our Annual Christmas Dinner on Saturday 10th December 2011 (full details at which will be held at Chalk (Old School). Partners / guests are welcome to this event.

To confirm your attendance please register at by midnight on Monday 28th November and pay Mifie or Pam $90 for each ticket asap.

I look forward to seeing you all at our final training session before Boat Quay at Farrer Park Pool at 7.00pm on Wednesday. In the meantime if you have any questions about the Regatta then just drop me an email and I’ll try to help.

Boat Quay – here we come!

Best wishes,

Philip N. Morgan – Team Secretary
British Dragons
– Singapore

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