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About us

John Waugh Rock the Boat was dreamt up in 2013 by James Thompson and Matthew Brittain. It’s the regatta that throws out all of the rules and aims to get as many people as possible involved in this awesome sport. A race like no other, offering clubs, parents or old boys and girls, the chance to team up and race against the best of the best.

Can your crew beat the likes of Olympic Gold medalists
John Smith or Lawrence Brittain?

2016 Race draws and Results

2000m results overall all with prognostics for 2017

1000m results overall all with prognostics for 2017

How does Rock the Boat work?

A regatta with a difference

As with most things at Rock the Boat anything goes, everyone can enter in any boat class or combination you can dream up.

Timed racing

In the morning session of the regatta, all crews will race a head race in either the 1km or the 2km event. Based only on times achieved in this head race, crews will be ranked into a series of finals in standard eight lane format – with the fastest 8 crews in ‘A-final’, the next 8 into the ‘B-Final’ and so on.

Close finishes

The difference comes in that the crews competing in each final will not necessarily be of the same class (or even gender or age!), but will rather be of very similar speed across the water, guaranteeing some cracking racing and close finishes.

High performers

Each crew will have their time compared to the John Waugh Rock the Boat benchmark times, and the crew with the highest percentage will be deemed the HPC High Performer of the day.


per seat (excluding coxes).

Entries close Monday
1st February 2017 at 12pm


2017 Entries coming soon.

It’s easy! Hit the button below and complete the form.
We will be in touch shortly after to confirm your spot.

*Limited late entries will be be available in the various boat classes on the morning closing before race briefing. Late entries with be charged at R75 per seat.

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Frequently asked questions

When and what time is the event?

Rock the Boat 2017 will take place on Saturday 4th February 2017 at the Roodeplaat Dam, Pretoria. Get there in good time for the athletes briefing at 8.00am. Racing to start at 9am.

What time are the finals?

The finals will run from approximately 12:30 until 3pm. Then join us for some live music in the beer garden and prize giving.

How do I enter and what’s the cost?

Entering the event is easy. Register via the form on our site and we will be in touch shortly thereafter to let you know if you have got your spot. Entries – close Monday 01 Febuary 2016 at 12pm @ R50 per seat (excluding coxes). *Limited late entries will be available in the various boat classes on the morning closing before race briefing. Late entries with be charged at R75 per seat.

Where will Rock the Boat 2017 be taking place?

It will be taking place at the Roodeplaat Dam, Pretoria.

Are there prizes?

The main prize is to win the HPC High Performer trophy which is won by the best crew at the regatta. Our complex handicapping system gives any age group, gender or boat class a fair chance of winning the overall prize. Aside from fame and fortune, there are medals up for grabs for the highest performers in Sculls, Doubles/Pairs, Fours/Quads and Eights/Octs. There will also be prizes for the best crew name and the best dressed.

What is the distance?

All crews can have a choice between the 1000m and 2000m events, with the 2000m being the main event.

Can crews share boats?

In the Rock The Boat format it is not possible for 2 crews to share a boat within the same event. This means that you may only share boats between two crews if one is racing the 2km event and the other is racing the 1km event. Example:  It is not possible for your under 16 4s to share a boat with your open 4s unless one of them enters the 1km.

What should we wear?

We don’t have any strict rules here. Make it fun, make it festive. Get your team spirit going! Club dress not required.

Do I have to be a member of a club?

Anyone and everyone can take part – you do NOT have to be affiliated to any club and/or organisation.

What can spectators expect?

Spectators can expect world-class racing brought to you by a team of knowledgeable commentators. Enjoy the races in style from a waterside SAB beer garden. There will also be live music and interviews with some of rowing South Africa’s most prominent athletes and coaches. Tickets at the gate are R30. To aid the fundraiser for Germiston Rowing Club and the University of Pretoria Rowing Club, no food or drinks from outside will be allowed onto the premises. Entrance to Roodepoort Dam costs R50 unless you have a season ticket.

Will there be food and drink?

Parents of St Andrews Girls will be keeping us all well fed while running a fundraiser with all proceeds going towards buying new sculling oars for Germiston High Rowing Club. Tuks Rowing will be running Rock the Bar, soft drinks, sports drinks and a full range of SAB products will be available. No spectators will be allowed to bring drinks and food into the venue.

Can I get involved with the Germiston Rowing Club fundraiser?

This year, again, St Andrews parents will be running the food as a fundraiser for Germiston High Rowing Club. Germiston High has a long history in rowing and is in desperate need of equipment to keep kids in the club and on the water. Last year we managed to raise enough funds to give the club a new Concept 2 Ergo. This year we are targeting between two and four sets of sculling blades. If you would like to get involved with either a donation of time or cash, please get in contact with us at

What are the weigh in details for the lightweights?

For those that had discipline over the festive season and are racing as lightweights details are as follow.

One weight in time:

Time 8am Open –  9 am Close

FISA maximums will apply for each athlete and not team averages. So all the boys must be at or below 72,5 and all the ladies must be at or below 59.

Still have questions?
Get in touch and we’ll be glad to help.

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