The Rock the Boat story: how it all began

Rock the Boat 2017 promises to be a rowing regatta like no other; where no matter who you are, what your rowing experience, gender or age, you will get the chance to race head-to-head with some of South Africa’s rowing champions. So how did this unique regatta come about? Here’s the Rock the Boat story.

Rock the Boat

A rowing event with a new energy

Matthew Brittain and I had the privilege of racing all over the world and we also took to our mountain bikes for a few epic races too. We spent hours comparing and analyzing events while on tours and started to see a massive opportunity in the rowing space for an event with a new energy.

Learning from our experience

Our experience competing for South Africa gave us a unique insight into the sport and we knew that a world class race is not about sitting on a start line staring at a row of international flags. Rather, a truly world class race is when you come into the last quarter of a race with all the boats in a line and every athlete simultaneously realises two opposing thoughts in their mind; firstly, that it is possible to win, and secondly that to achieve this victory an athlete must immediately perform a desperate search of their soul to find the necessary courage to overcome the pain associated with true victory. We knew that this scenario is what athletes of all abilities crave and we started to think about how we could create this with a new rowing race format.

Dreaming big

We brainstormed and dreamed big. We also started cherry picking ideas from other events we had participated in and enjoyed. We wanted to bring the excitement of bow ball to bow ball racing to the biggest field we could. Our first regatta in 2013 had 250 participants and honestly we didn’t have a clue what we were doing, but had some great people helping us through the process.

What makes Rock the Boat unique..

The racing format of Rock the Boat is what sets it apart from other rowing regattas and, more importantly, what gives it the great atmosphere you can expect and vibe. It is the only event that allows people to race against those who are outside of their own age group or boat class. It creates an environment of unknowns, whether it is the inter-club rivalry, or a chance for the girls to show boys who is really faster, anything can happen.

We also love that it’s the only regatta that ends with a clear pecking order, so all the duals enjoyed throughout the day, all have to stand up and be counted! The final result gives just one crew the bragging rights for the year of having been the best of the best and crowned the HPC High Performer.

Will you be joining us?

Rock the Boat 2017 promises to be even bigger and better than ever. Enter now and join us on the 4th February for the rowing regatta like no other. We look forward to seeing you there.