The National Schools Regatta

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The National Schools' Regatta is the largest regatta for juniors in Great Britain. Held annually in May the three day regatta offers events for junior rowers between J14 and J18.


The regatta was first raced in 1947 as the "Colts and Third Eights Regatta", when Desmond Hill the master-in-charge of rowing at St Edward's School, Oxford, invited the third VIIIs of Shrewsbury, Bedford and Radley to race against St. Edwards in Godstow. The event was repeated annually at a number of locations in the Thames valley, and then later at Pangbourne, until in 1963 when it moved to the Child Beale Trust Estate. With the growth of the regatta and the addition of many more events for junior crews the regatta changed its name to "The National Schools' Regatta" in 1964. In 1973 the regatta moved to Holme Pierrepont, due to the frequency of unfair weather conditions at the Child Beale Estate, and the ability to hold six lane racing at Holme Pierrepont. With the possible closure of the lake announced, it was feared that the regatta would have to move location again, but the closure threats receded and the regatta remained in Nottingham. Oweing to Holme Pierrepoint having organised a triathlon over the desired weekend, the organisers were forced to relocate the regatta to Dorney Lake in 2016.

Events and Recent Winners[edit]

Queen Mother Challenge Cup (Ch.8+)[edit]

The Queen Mother Challenge Cup for championship eights is the regatta's premier event, featuring the first eights of the traditional, 'championship' rowing schools of England. The event attracts approximately 12 entries each year, with smaller schools usually entering the Child Beale Cup for School eights. The Queen Mother forms part of the title known as 'The Triple', which also consists of Championship eights at the Schools' Head of the River Race and The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta. Due to the high level of competition, the Queen Mother Challenge Cup has only been won by eight schools and one club:

Eton College (16 wins), Abingdon School (6 wins), Hampton School (6 wins), Radley College (5 wins), Shrewsbury School (3 wins), St. Edwards School (3 wins), Westminster School (2 wins), Pangbourne College (1 win), Wallingford Schools Boat Club (1 win)[1]

Recent Winners[edit]

Child Beale Cup[edit]

The Child Beale Cup is for School 1st VIIIs and has traditionally been entered by smaller and less well established schools, lacking the depth of the larger rowing schools. One month later at Henley, 1st eights and Championship eights race together in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup.

Recent Winners[edit]

Other Championship events[edit]



J17 Events[edit]


J16 Events[edit]


Course Records[edit]

Since 2014 Regatta

  • Championship Eight - Abingdon School - 2013 - 5:49.48
  • Championship Girl's Eight - Lady Eleanor Holles School - 1994 - 6:46.01
  • Championship Quad - Sir William Borlase's School - 2012 - 6:12.03
  • Championship Girl's Quad - Canford School - 2012 - 6:59.04

The Course[edit]

The regatta was held at the National Water Centre just outside Nottingham. It is one of only a few multi-laned courses in Britain. The weather for the course is sometimes windy, resulting in the occasion that the regatta is sometimes cancelled. This has led to calls for the regatta to be moved to Dorney Lake, although this is just as much prone to wind problems, where the 2012 Olympics rowing events took place. Although the National Water Sports Centre is better placed geographically for competitors to travel to from across the country.

However the 2016 regatta was moved to Dorney Lake.

2008 Regatta[edit]

After three 1st VIIIs, entered in the Childe Beale Cup, from The King's School, Canterbury, Bedford Modern School, and Shiplake College, swamped, it was decided by the officials to completely cancel the rest of the racing for both the Saturday and Sunday. The officials have been heavily criticised for not reacting quickly to the situation, and for not stopping racing earlier, instead placing some of the athletes in serious danger - an eight from The Oratory School ploughed straight into the swamped crew from The King's School, Canterbury, hitting some with blades and damaging their boat, moments later the Kingston Grammar School eight narrowly avoided hitting the Bedford Modern School eight, a black Resolute which was very difficult to see in the wavey conditions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Past Winners". National Schools Regatta. Archived from the original (html) on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-29. 

External links[edit]