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Update on 2021 Royal St. John’s Regatta

On July 14th, 2021

The 2021 Royal St. John’s Regatta will go ahead on the first Wednesday in August, weather permitting. COVID-19 protocols will be in place, in addition to crowd control. While Quidi Vidi is a public park, we kindly ask those individuals not directly involved in the racing on Regatta Day please refrain from gathering round the boathouse and timing tower on top of the pond.

On a normal year with vendors on site, the Regatta would draw a crowd of 10,000 to 40,000 people. This year’s Event will not have vendors or any concessions, and the vast majority of attendees in the past came for the food and games of chance as opposed to the races. However, it can be reasonably expected that individuals will converge on Quidi Vidi Lake on Regatta Day out of general interest. In response, the following crowd control measures will be implemented for the Event and additional details of each are included below: 

1. Regatta Committee COVID-19 Ambassadors 

2. Scheduled Break 

3. Physical Barriers and Exclusion Zones for Participants and Committee Members 

4. Police Enforcement of Public Health Guidelines 

5. City-led Parking Enforcement and Limited Vehicular Access 

6. City-led Vendor Enforcement 

7. Cohort Friendly Zones 

9. Live Broadcast of Races 


Regatta Committee COVID-19 Ambassadors 

Due to the number of potential onlookers at this Event, two (2) crowd control manager(s) – known as Regatta Committee COVID Ambassadors, will be in place for monitoring the dock and upholding public health guidelines in areas where rowers, coxswains and committee members are present. These areas are fenced and are not accessible to the public. 

Physical Barriers and Exclusion Zones for Participants and Regatta Committee Members 

Per the approved Return to Racing Plan, the Regatta Committee will establish and expand the secure areas (fenced areas) for participants of this Event, including rowers, coxswains and managers, as well as Regatta Committee members and staff. 

Signage will be in place noting the limited access in these areas, including the rules and procedures that must be followed when a participant enters. There are specific signs in these areas that say No Public Access. These areas will also be monitored, and security will be in place to control participant access. 

All participants will have a name tag or wrist band to gain access to the exclusion zones. 

Also, security will report back to the Regatta Committee COVID-19 Ambassadors regarding gatherings outside of the secure areas if they occur for appropriate action. 

Scheduled Breaks 

The Event schedule will include breaks during peak times, such as mid-day and late afternoon before the Championship Race, to support crowd management efforts. A minimum of 1.5 hours will be allocated for a lunch break, and another break between 4 and 6PM. Races that typically draw a crowd have also been spread out on the schedule to reduce the potential number of attendees at one time. 

Crowd Enforcement 

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) will provide policing services for the Event, similar to previous years. This typically includes uniformed officers on site or in the vicinity of the Event. The RNC will enforce the province’s covid-19 public health guidelines and will ensure large gatherings of people do not develop in the area around the Quidi Vidi Lake. They will also support the City of St. John’s with parking enforcement, etc. 

Limited Parking and Road Access 

The City of St. John’s will implement road closures at Clancy Drive (no vehicular access), Lake Avenue (no vehicular access), Carnell Drive (no vehicular access) and Lakeview Avenue (access to the Boathouse with permit only at Forest Road). 

Parking for participants of the Event (rowers, etc.) will be at the lower Dominion parking lot on Lake Avenue (access behind Dominion on Kings Bridge Road). Regatta Committee security and City of St. John’s parking enforcement will be in place to manage parking at Dominion. Permits will be issued, and a list of permitted vehicles will be provided to security. 

The Boulevard will remain open to traffic this year, but the three public parking areas will be closed or limited to authorized vehicles only. There is no parking or stopping on the Boulevard. If vehicular access poses any risk at this location, the Boulevard will be closed by the City of St. John’s in consultation with their other enforcement partners. 

Cohort Friendly Areas 

In areas around Quidi Vidi Lake where physical distancing can be achieved, cohort-safe zones will be established. These zones will have cohort circles painted on the grass/ground for groups and their Steady 20 to utilize. These areas will be located at the north bank of Quidi Vidi Lake near the bandstand and marquee, as well as at the top of the pond near the bridge on Carnell Drive near the starting line for the races. The Regatta Committee will be responsible for constructing these zones. 

Vendor Enforcement 

The City of St. John’s will monitor the areas around Quidi Vidi Lake during the Event to ensure vendors do not setup operation. 

The Regatta Committee has met with past vendors to communicate the plan for 2021 and they have been told they are not permitted to attend the Event. They will participate in a virtual vendor fair instead. 

The Regatta Committee doesn’t anticipate any issues in this regard, but the City of St. John’s will manage vendors if they do present themselves. 

Live Broadcast of Races 

The 203rd Anniversary Royal St. John’s Regatta will be live broadcast. RogersTV will broadcast all races from start to finish. NTV will broadcast regular updates throughout the day and will show the championship races live beginning at 6PM. VOCM will be broadcasting live from the Event throughout the day, including the posting of updates on the internet. This cooperative effort on behalf of our partners will give potential onlookers an option to watch the races without being physically present. The Regatta Committee will encourage families and friends of participants to stay home and watch the races virtually. Live race results will be updated to the Regatta website in real-time.