Any traditional boat, or traditional-style replica, powered by a minimum of four oars or paddles, may enter. Sliding seats and riggers are not allowed, but adequately-fixed sliding seats may be permitted at the discretion of the Race scrutineers. The freeboard of individual entries will be examined carefully by the Race scrutineers and the Safety Marshals who may exclude any entry on safety grounds before, or during, the event. Random weight checks may be carried out at the Start.
Every boat must be covered by public liability insurance up to £2 million any one claim and for any loss, injury or damage to property or persons (including all persons aboard the craft) and it is strongly recommended that sufficient buoyancy aids are carried for all persons aboard. Any towing will be undertaken only at the boat owner's risk.
Each boat must fly a flag (minimum of 3ft x 2ft) throughout the Race. This may be your national, club, livery, association or company flag (which can carry a commercial logo but not an advertising slogan) or one made especially for the Race.
In addition to the rowers, or paddlers, each boat must, at all times, carry a cox (who need not steer but must not row/paddle while coxing) and a separate passenger. Crew may freely change positions during the Race (see exceptions under 'Classes'), but outside substitution or assistance is not permitted. Any crew member going ashore during the race will render their crew liable to immediate disqualification and withdrawal from safety cover.
It is the responsibility of the passenger to clearly display the Race number to Marshals at the Start and Finish of the Race and to confirm this vocally if requested. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. This rule will be enforced.
The maximum number of paddlers allowed in a full-size Chinese dragon boat (40ft) is 16. Compact dragon boats (30ft) are restricted to ten. Dragon heads and tails and drums should be carried and the drummer (who should be seated in the lower forward position at all times) may act as passenger. All dragon boat crew members must wear a buoyancy aid during the Race.
The minimum age for any person aboard is ten years. Any person aboard who is under 16 years of age and all coxes/ passengers are strongly advised to wear a buoyancy aid at all times. In both Under 16 and Under 14 crews one senior (over 18) cox or passenger MUST be carried in the boat and register the entry, but may not row/paddle, i.e. Under 14 and Under 16 crews must be registered by the obligatory adult (over 18) cox/passenger in charge of the boat (see details of age-based classes).
Mixed crews must have at least 50% women rowing/paddling at all times. Uneven crews (i.e. in Montagu whalers) must have a greater number of women rowers/paddlers.
Crews entering the open adaptive rowing class for rowers with disabilities should contact Stuart Wolff on 020 8398 8141 for specific eligibility criteria. In any crew where the ratio of able-bodied to disabled is less than one-to-one, it is strongly recommended that the entrant supply its own dedicated support craft. Disabled crew members are strongly advised to wear a buoyancy aid at all times.
Our regular safety reviews can result in rule amendments. Please read the Guidance Notes, Notice to Coxes (distributed on Raceday) and all other communications carefully, particularly those sections referring to flag signals, Marshals' instructions and use of bridge arches. Please pay particular attention to the Start Layout and Start Guide (distributed on Raceday). These instructions are mandatory, and the cox of each vessel is responsible for adhering to them and must be aware of their designated Emergency Rendezvous Point (ERV) in the event of abort at the start of the Race. Every crew MUST confirm its final, accurate crew complement to Registration before proceeding to Scrutineers to collect its Race number.
Advertising by commercial organisations on, or of, any entry (including crew clothing) is permitted only by arrangement with the organisers.
Terms and Conditions
Terms and Conditions for Racing -- you can view and download a .pdf copy here