green FLAGLast Updated: 4:22pm - Aug 29, 2023

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.


Please continue to check this page as we provide updates as it relates to an operating season during the covid-19 pandemic.


  1. Your ENTIRE TEAM (including Spares/Coxswain etc.) MUST complete a Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee Liability Waiver and provide us with a signed copy.
  2. Your ENTIRE TEAM (including Spares/Coxswain etc.) MUST complete a Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee COVID-19 WAIVER. Please note, this only needs to be completed ONCE.
  3. PRIOR TO EACH SPIN, You MUST do the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Self-Assessment. You DO NOT need to provide us with a signed copy of this waiver.

2021 ROWING SEASON Registration fees

The preferred method of payment is EMT – [email protected]. Auto-deposit is enabled so, you will not require a password.

You can also pay via credit card through the registration software – Trackie. You will need to sign into your Trackie account and provide the credit card that way. Unfortunately, we do not have access to do this, it will have to be done through your own account. Additionally, Trackie charges a standard credit card processing fee.

The third method of payment is cheque, however, due to the current situation with Covid-19, while we are happy to accept a cheuqe, we ask that you please use this if electronic methods are not an option.

  • Masters, Senior, Intermediate and Juvenile – $1,800 + HST
  • Midget – $1,000 + HST
  • Squirt – $650 + HST

2021 Refund POLICIES and procedures

  • Registration is on a first come, first served basis. The Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee reserves the right to close registration at any time if the number of crews reaches the maximum. Teams are encouraged to register early to ensure their spot.
  • If the Regatta Committee reaches the number of required crews in the required categories, VeriBook will open to book spins beginning on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 12:00PM. You MUST PAY YOUR FEE TO BE ELIGIBLE TO BOOK. 
  • If you pay your fees and a season does not commence, you will receive a 100% refund. However, this is ONLY if the season does not commence.
  • The Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee reserves the right to cancel registration, should the minimum number of teams within the appropriate categories not be met.
  • Unfortunately, UNTIL JUNE 19, 2021, the ergometres will not be available as a part of the on-water season as we need to keep them as two separate programs, given the restrictions. Only those who have signed up for the Winter/Spring Training Program will be eligible to avail of the ergometres. We will reassess once the Winter/Spring Training Program has concluded.
  • Crews are responsible for paying all fees and taxes associated with the registration process.
  • The Regatta Committee reserves the right to retain 50% of all fees as a non refundable deposit for the purpose of covering overhead costs associated with the activation of the Rowing Season and maintenance of the Boathouse, which otherwise would not be incurred.
  • Refunds may be provided under extenuating circumstances, with the exception of the 50% of fees, on a pro-rated basis.
  • Refunds WILL NOT be provided after July 2, 2021.
  • If the Rowing Season is forced to closed due to COVID-19, the Regatta Committee shall decide within 30 days if reopening is feasible. At that time, if the decision is to remain closed, notwithstanding the COVID-19 Alert Level, crews will be reimbursed their registration, less 50%, with the remaining 50% PRO-RATED from the day the facility officially closed.
The Regatta Committee reserves the right to revise these policies without notice.


We are working on various scenarios to implement a race day in Summer 2021, however, the plans are still TENTATIVE as we work through the appropriate processes. In addition, the Covid-19 Pandemic situation and vaccine schedule is extremely fluid, as such, we are unable to provide a specific plan at this time.

Whichever scenario occurs (if any) we need to ensure the health and safety of Participants, Public, Staff and Committee first and foremost. An event, in any capacity, will ONLY occur if it is deemed safe to do so by Public Health. As discussed, we are looking at several options including:

  • A Race Day on August 4 (weather pending). This would include races, in the typical sense but, would not include a garden party.
  • A Fall time-frame Regatta.

team sponsorships

As a Non-Profit Organization, we recognize the importance of Sponsors. We also appreciate that they may not be as plentiful this year and there may be less of an appetite for team sponsorship, given the uncertainty around the event. We also understand that some teams may be in a position where each team member will have to pay their own fees for the 2021 season. As such, we have developed a strategy to assist you in your appeal toward Sponsors, even if a Regatta Day in its typical sense, does not occur.

For 2021 only, we will be providing the following opportunities for Team Sponsors:

Team Sponsors Webpage 
The Royal St. John’s Regatta website has significant traffic, which means reach for organizations which are present on the page. We will be developing a page on our high-traffic website dedicated specifically to Team Sponsors.

  • Sponsors will be listed alphabetically.
  • Sponsors will have the opportunity to place their logo next to their listing.
  • Sponsors will have the opportunity to provide 150-200 words of text with their listing.
  • We will highlight the Team Sponsors page throughout the Summer to drive traffic.
  • You/your sponsor will be responsible for providing the text/logo.  

Social Media Spotlight 
Each Team Sponsor will be provided a spotlight on our three Social Media properties twice, throughout the duration of the Season.

  • Your Sponsor will be tagged in the post.
  • Your Sponsor will have the opportunity to highlight the information of their choosing.
  • You/your Sponsor will be responsible for providing the text/logo as well as any social media properties that your sponsor wishes to tag.  

Media Kit 
Team Sponsors will have a listing in our electronic document, which will be provided to the Media for the 2021 season.

  • Each team will get half of a page where the Sponsor will be highlighted, along with interesting pieces of information about your team.
  • The information is typically used and highlighted by media on Regatta Day and throughout the Summer.
  • You/your Sponsor will be responsible for providing all text/logo within a specific timeframe.  

2021 Rowing Season Programme 
Similar to our Souvenir programme typically available in print on Regatta Day, we will be providing a similar type of document in electronic format, for the historic 2021 Rowing Season, as opposed to Regatta Day specifically.

  • Team members, along with their Sponsors name/logo will be listed in the electronic programme.
  • The programme will be available for download on our website and will be advertised throughout the season.
  • You/your Sponsor will be responsible for providing all text/logo within a specific timeframe. 

As you know, the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee consists of 50 Volunteers who are connected to the Rowing Community and Royal St. John’s Regatta as Rowers/Coxswains themselves or deep-rooted family history. As such, we are just as enthusiastic as you to achieve a solution which provides the ability to get our shells back out on the water in May.

Covid-19 operational plan – return to play


Fixed-seat rowing is a team sport that takes place on Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. All operations take place out of the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee Boathouse, 10 Clancey Drive.

Participants use a boat known as a fixed-seat shell. Each shell has a Coxswain and six Rowers.

A crew typically rows either a full course or half course, depending on their registered category. The full course is 2.45 km (1.52 miles), while the half course is 1.225 km (0.76 miles). Crews begin their race at the top of the pond and then proceed to turn a buoy at the bottom. Crews finish their race by returning to the starting/finish line.

There is four feet between the Coxswain and the Rower in seat six (closest person to the Coxswain) and three feet between each Rower as their seat alternates between stroke and bow side of the shell.

Below is the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee guidelines and plan to resume recreational fixed-seat rowing, commencing on Monday, May 3, 2021.

Cleaning and Sanitization

All touch points within each shell will be thoroughly cleaned after each spin with a pump sprayer, applying a water and bleach solution (ratio 50:1). After ten minutes, the shell will be rinsed with water from the garden hose. To remove any access water from the shell, a shop vacuum will be utilized.
All components of the shell will be cleaned, including:
  •  Centre board,
  •  Gunnels,
  • Footing,
  • Footing nut and bolt,
  • Seat,
  • Oar Handle,
  • Oar Collar,
  • Coxswain seat,
  • Coxswains footing area,
  • Coxswain rope.

All common touch points inside of the Boathouse will be disinfected and cleaned comprehensively.

Common touch points within the Boathouse includes:

  • Interior and exterior door handles,
  • Light switches
  • Bathrooms
  • Workstations
  • Lift control
  • Shell slings
  • Shell lift straps
  • Shell handling sticks

During the preliminary stages of operation, access to the interior of the Boathouse will be limited to Staff and designated Committee members. This policy will be reassessed after the initial few weeks of operation.

Equipment utilized by Staff will be cleaned and sanitized before and after each use.

Hand Sanitization Stations will be provided in both the safety and aluminum boats.

The safety boat and aluminum boat will undergo rigorous cleaning and disinfection at the end of each designated Staff shift — which equates to twice per day.

An organized checklist and cleaning schedule will be communicated to Staff and will be posted
in the Rowing Office, bathrooms, and the Shellhouse.

Boathouse bathrooms, hallways, main office and Shellhouse will be cleaned once per shift. The
frequency will be reconsidered should the washroom facilities be open to the Rowing Community.

Rowing Operations

To limit access, the dock and Grand Concourse (Quidi Vidi Walking Trail) will be partitioned off. This also serves to prevent the Public from interfering with the Rowing Community’s ability to physical distance while on the dock.

Arrows/markings to indicate one-directional traffic will be placed where possible.

Boathouse and Shellhouse access will be restricted to Staff and designated Committee Members only.

Each Rower, Coxswain, Coach and Spare will complete all registration forms with contact details to ensure the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee has all pertinent information for contact tracing.

During the online registration process, a mandatory agreement will be in place for all participants to complete the self-assessment screening tool, prior to arriving at the Boathouse and if demonstrating symptoms, the individual will not row.

A maximum of ten fixed-seat shells will be tied on to the dock, with only five shells available to be booked at a time.

  • The shells on the water will alternate between the five shells the crews have booked and the five that are to be cleaned by Staff. This ensures a maximum of five shells being utilized for rowing during each scheduled spin time, while the remaining five shells will be cleaned by Staff in between spin times.

Spin booking times will be lengthened to 60 mins (previously 35 minutes) to provide crews with the opportunity to row four times per week. If additional slots are available, crews will be eligible to book additional spins.

  • Lengthening the spin time will allow Staff the opportunity to do a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the five shells.

During the preliminary stages of operation, the Boathouse will remain closed to the Rowing Community and Public. Should it be deemed prudent to open the Boathouse to those outside of the designated officials, one-way markers/arrows will be placed inside the Boathouse.

Hand Sanitizer Stations will be placed at each shell spot to ensure team members have disinfected their hands immediately pre and post spin.

Staff and Committee Members

Staff and Committee members will be required to complete the Provincial self-assessment tool prior to arriving for work. Staff who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home and will be encouraged to immediately call 811.

Hand Sanitization Stations will be placed in the rear and front Shellhouse of the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee Boathouse.

Staff and Designated Officials will be required to complete a cleaning and disinfecting record sheet.

It will be mandatory for Staff and Committee Members to wear a non-medical mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times.

Physical Distancing Within Teams

As it is not possible to maintain a six-foot distance between rowing team members during on water practice, each team will operate in a ten-person cohort with names being provided to the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee in writing, during the registration process. The ten-person cohort will include six Oars people, one Coxswain, one coach, two designated spares (one official, one unofficial backup).

Given the nature of the position, similar to that of an instructor, Coxswains will be eligible for membership within more than one cohort. Coxswains must advise, in writing at time of registration, of which cohorts they are a member.

To limit the risk of disease transmission by reducing the number of people with whom team members have close contact, the cohort will always include the same people. Only individuals who have been designated a part of the specific cohort will be eligible to participate in on water practice.

Except for extenuating circumstances, all members of the cohort must remain the same for the duration of the Rowing Season. If an exception is required, it must be provided in writing to the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee via e-mail at [email protected] – any other
method of notification will be not be considered for exemption.

Individuals who primarily interact with team members at six feet are not required to be included as a part of the cohort.

Each participant must complete the self-assessment screening tool prior to arriving at Boathouse. If a participant is demonstrating symptoms of Covid-19, they will not be authorized to row.

Rowers, Coxswain and Coach will stay in their vehicles until their designated spin time.

To ensure contact traceability, Crews will be required to pre-book spins online.

Crews will only be permitted to utilize the shell to which they are booked/assigned.

While on the dock; Rowers, Coxswain and Coach must stay with within their shell space and maintain a distance of six feet.

All individuals must wear a non-medical mask that covers the nose and mouth. The mask can only be removed once the shell has been untied, immediately prior to push-off from the dock. The mask must be replaced immediately after docking, at the conclusion of the spin time.

Only Regatta Committee, Staff, Rowers, Coxswains and Coaches will be permitted on the dock during operational hours.

Each Rower, Coxswain and Coach must bring their own measuring tape, screwdriver and 3/4 wrench to adjust equipment. The Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee will not provide tools to rowing teams.

The Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee and Staff will not be permitted to adjust equipment for individuals. Failing to arrive prepared with pertinent supplies may result in the ineligibility to participate in the booked spin.

Rowers, Coxswain and Coaches will be encouraged to leave personal items at home or locked in a vehicle. We recognize that some equipment is essential, however, Rowers will be advised to limit the number of items they bring to their scheduled spin. No personal items will be permitted to remain on the dock; they must be enclosed in a waterproof bag and placed inside of the shell.

Every footing must be loosened prior to exiting the shell.

When accessing a shell located below the jog, team members must walk single file along the pedway. The individual walking in a clockwise direction has the right-away and must provide the oncoming pedestrian ample space to exit the pedway.

When accessing a shell located below the jog, Rowers will not be permitted to access the dock through the St. John’s Rowing Club. Rowers will be advised to avoid interference with the operations of the St. John’s Rowing Club to ensure proper physical distancing.

Rowers and Coxswains are required to sanitize their hands prior to entering and immediately after exiting the shell.

Rowers, Coxswain and Coach are required to leave the dock immediately upon the conclusion of their designated spin time to ensure Staff have adequate space to conduct the cleaning and
sanitization procedures and to provide the subsequent crew with the appropriate amount of space to enter the dock area.

No group gatherings or other congratulatory customs (e.g., handshakes, high fives, fist bumps, chest bumps, hugs etc.) that will promote contact or bring participants within two meters.

Participants will be encouraged to exhibit proper respiratory etiquette (sneezing/coughing into the crook of the elbow or tissue. No spitting or clearing of nasal passages).

Rowers will be urged to label their water bottles and avoid sharing with their team members.

Key Contact

LeighAnne O’Neill
Executive Director
[email protected]

The 2019 Royal St. John's Regatta

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