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Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee Unveils New Safety Boat for 200th Anniversary

On July 25th, 2018

July 25, 2018

For Immediate Release

Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee Unveils New Safety Boat for 200th Anniversary

The Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee held a commissioning ceremony today for a new boat that will enhance safety for rowers in the upcoming 200th anniversary Royal St. John’s Regatta. The regatta is scheduled for Wednesday, August 1 (weather permitting).

City of St. John’s Mayor, Danny Breen and Regatta Committee Vice President and Captain of the Course, Bradley Power made the announcement this morning flanked by three beautiful Newfoundland dogs at the Quidi Vidi boathouse. The new safety boat, affectionately named Sable Chief, honours the Newfoundland dog mascot of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

“The safety of everyone at Quidi Vidi Lake is the number one priority for The Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee,” said Mr. Power. “With our partners at the City of St. John’s, we are pleased today to commission this new boat which will be used on regatta day as our primary safety boat. It will undoubtedly support the record number of crews registered for the 200th anniversary event by giving us a new and faster way to respond to incidents on the water if they were to occur.

The new safety boat is a 2018 Boston Whaler. It has a 60HP outboard motor and is rigged with various safety equipment. It will serve as the Regatta Committee’s primary fast action rescue craft at Quidi Vidi Lake during the rowing season. It is also referred to as a chase boat/safety boat.

This project was funded in part by the City of St. John’s Capital Grant program, which provides non-profit organizations and groups with financial assistance. The total cost of the new boat was approximately $40,000.

“On behalf of City Council, we are pleased to participate in the celebration and excitement of the upcoming Royal St. John’s Regatta on its 200th anniversary. Congratulations to the Regatta Committee on this momentous occasion,” said Mayor Breen. “This boat serves to enhance safety of all the participants in the Regatta while also paying tribute to the legacy of Sable Chief and the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. We are pleased to be part of such a meaningful and important project.”

The boat’s name honours Sable Chief, the Newfoundland dog that served as mascot of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during the First World War. The 150-pound purebred marched at the front of the regimental band during ceremonial events, and kept in-step throughout. The canine also visited wounded troops – his dignified demeanor made him a great favourite and morale booster. Unfortunately Sable was killed in a truck accident in 1919, but his remains were sent to a taxidermist for preservation. He is now in the collection of The Rooms, the Provincial Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador. His picture was painted on the new Regatta Committee safety boat to further preserve his memory. The Rooms was kind enough to grant The Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee the necessary approval to utilize Sable Chief’s picture on the boat itself.

The Regatta Committee would like to personally thank Mayor Danny Breen and Councillor-at-Large Sandy Hickman who were instrumental in securing the funding for this project. Both Mr. Breen and Mr. Hickman serve as members of the Regatta Committee and are actively involved in the operation of the regatta.

More information about The Royal St. John’s Regatta and its 200th anniversary can be found at


For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

LeighAnne O’Neill, General Manager
Royal St. John’s Regatta
[email protected]
tel. 709.576.8921