To the Supporters of the Rock the Boat Regatta,

We are absolutely devasted to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Rock the Boat regatta. Despite the rowing community’s herculean effort to restore Roodeplaat to a fair course, we feel we have no option but to take this tough decision.

We pride ourselves on creating a world-class racing experience, and an effective platform to showcase the sport. The hyacinth has wreaked havoc on the Roodeplaat course, and we feel unable to guarantee these objectives to our participants and our sponsors.

Since the December break, we have been anxiously watching developments and have been optimistic that the spraying would clear the course in time. Unfortunately, after an inspection on the weekend, we are concerned that this optimism is misplaced and it would be unfair to sponsors, athletes and spectators if we pressed ahead and delivered a subpar experience.

We considered moving the regatta to Wemmer Pan or VLC, but neither of these would be up to hosting the southern hemisphere’s largest headrace. A large area is required for holding boats and the congestion at the finish and jetties makes these unsuitable options.

We would like to thank to all parents, volunteers that have contributed to the cleanup and repair effort at Roodeplaat. Thank you for your trying to rebuild our venue. The RTB crew will continue to provide support to you and we have made a donation to the cause of R5,000.

The excitement for the 2020 event has been as infectious as always. So, to put a silver lining on the doom and gloom, we are exploring the option of holding the regatta in October, so you won’t have to wait too long to see us again.

Regards, Matt, James and the Rock the Boat Crew