From seasoned pros to beginners, Quidi Vidi Lake is a rower’s paradise. Register a team, learn to row, or check out one of our seasonal training programs.

green FLAGLast Updated: 4:32pm - Aug 2, 2021

Registration Details for the 2021 Rowing Season (Subject to Change)

We are pleased to announce that our Return to Play Operational Plan has been approved and based on the guidelines within the document, we are permitted to resume on-water rowing operations.

With the uncertainty of Regatta Day and the revenue it provides, this year the Regatta Committee needs a minimum number of crews to make the season financially viable. With less available spin times, determining the viability of the season will also focus on providing crews reasonable access and minimizing any increases on registration fees. Due to each crew category having a different registration fee, the exact number of crews required for financial viability will depend on the outcome of our first come, first served registration process.

Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, crew registration, hours of operation, and the booking process for the 2021 Rowing Season have changed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but these new policies and practices are necessary to keep Staff and all athletes safe in COVID-19 Alert Level 2. 


  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.

Registration policy:

  • 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. 
  • 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, 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. This program concludes on Wednesday. June 16. We will reassess the possibility of erg bookings, once the Winter/Spring Training Program has concluded.

Clarification for Coxswains – each group of rowers/spares/coxswains/coaches (the crew) is considered to be a cohort of a 10 people maximum, and they may not mix with other cohorts, with the exception of the coxswain who, per Rowing Canada’s guidelines is able to maintain a “circle” of 50 people maximum. This means that a coxswain can row on one team as part of the cohort of 10 and may also steer up to 4 additional crews; or alternatively cox 5 crews. 

Important Dates

Please continue to check back for details as we will post once they become available.

  • Wednesday, April 14, 2021Registration Opens at 5:00PM
  • Monday, May 3, 2021– Tentative date for opening of the Boathouse, should minimum number of teams, within the appropriate categories be met.
  • 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 overheads costs associated with the activation of the Rowing Season and maintenance of the Boathouse.
  • 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% and fees, prorated from the day the facility officially closed.
  • The Regatta Committee reserves the right to revise these policies without notice.

*Subject to change 

May 3, 2021 – May 10, 2021  
Monday to Friday
6:30AM (first spin) to 12:30PM (last spin)
4:30PM (first spin) to 7:30PM
(last spin) 

May 11, 2021 – May 20, 2021  
Monday to Friday
6:00AM (first spin) to 12:30PM (last spin)
4:30PM (first spin) to 7:30PM
(last spin) 

May 21, 2021 onward
Monday to Friday
6:00AM (first spin) to 12:30PM (last spin)
4:30PM (first spin) to 7:30PM (last spin)

7:30AM (first spin) to 11:30AM (last spin) 

Important new Operational Policies and Procedures

  • Spins will be available in 60-minute slots, which will allow Staff to do a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the shells.
  • Due to the limited number of individuals permitted on the docks, 10 shells will be tied onto the dock with only five shells being available to be booked per session. 
  • The shells on the water will alternate with the five shells being cleaned by staff on the dock. Once crews return to the dock, the disinfected shells can push off for their spin and the previous five will be then cleaned. Crews will be asked to exit the dock area immediately. Don’t forget to take your belongings from the boat and loosen the footing before you go!
  • Currently, crews may book a maximum of FIVE spins per week, and only one spin on any given day, to allow equal access among all crews to optimal spin times. This new policy is due to the limited number of spins available under the COVID-19 requirements.
  • Spin times will be booked as in previous years, through the VeriBook System, which will be opened at noon (12:00PM) daily.
  • There will be no priority bookings permitted this season.

We recognize that increasing the spin times to 60 minutes and limiting the number of shells in use at any given time will decrease the number of spins to which teams are accustomed. It is, however, our first priority to maintain the safety of Staff and Athletes, and therefore we must accept and recognize that the 2021 Rowing Season, operating under strict COVID-19 protocols will necessitate pertinent changes, unique to a typical year.

Download Waiver
2021 Season Registration
Government of NL Covid-19 Updates

2021 Rowing Registration Rates

Race Category Cost per Team
Masters $1,800 + HST
Senior $1,800 + HST
Intermediate $1,800 + HST
Juvenile $1,800 + HST
Midget $1,000 + HST
Squirt $650 + HST
*EMT (general is the preferred method of payment
Regatta Committee

Online Booking System

As of 2015, an online booking system is used to make bookings.

Important Note: Crews must register using our online registration and submit their waivers before they will be permitted to make a booking. Once registration and waivers are complete you will be sent an email with a user name and password for the online booking site.

2021 Rowing Season Participant Waiver

The Boat bookings are every 30 minutes, with a 60 minute spin time.

For a step-by-step instructions on how to use the online booking system, please see our online booking system guide.

booking system guide

Important Note: It is not possible to restrict how many booking are made. The current rule of only one morning and only one evening practice per crew per day still stands. If a crew does double book in the morning or evening they will be first given a warning, with subsequent infractions leading to increasing penalties of the number of days that their account will be locked. If this rule continues to be abused we will have to return to the telephone system.

How to Establish a Team

You’re interested in rowing, but, don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place. Here is a handy guide for those new to the Royal St. John’s Regatta.

  • Find Five Other People
  • Find a Coxswain
  • Categories
  • Find a Sponsor
  • Register Your Team
Learn More

Chevron Learn to Row

If you are a new rower with a full crew (six rowers), or an individual rower looking to get your foot in the door to create a new group, this program may be what you are looking for! This includes individual and group sessions, Rowing and Boat Orientation, Technical Rowing Instruction and on-water mentoring.

Learn More

Winter/Spring Training Program

The Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee is pleased to announce details of the 2021 Winter/Spring Training Program at the Quidi Vidi boathouse. The program will commence on Monday, January 11 and run until Wednesday, April 28.

Learn More

The Rules

Here are your guidelines for crew composition, team registration, time trials, and more. Get the rules of the races!

Learn More

The 2019 Royal St. John's Regatta

Schedule and Results
Age Categories
Age Categories

Age Categories


For Any oarsperson between the age of 10 and 13 as of December 31 of the year of the regatta. Squirts row a modified course and must wear approved flotation devices at all times. Rowing during sanctioned events may be impacted by weather and is at the discretion of the Captain of the Course. Take the age of the rower on Dec. 31st of the year of the regatta. If that person is 10, 11 or 12 they may only row squirts. If they are 13 they may row Squirts or Midget but only one age catagory in any regatta. For a rower age 14 on Dec. 31st they must row Midget or potentially Juvenile.


Any oarsperson under the age of 16 as of December 31 this year.


Any oarsperson under the age of 18 as of December 31 this year.


Any oarsperson under the age of 21 as of December 31 this year.


All registered oarspersons who are not rowing as Squirt, Midget, Juvenile, Intermediate or Masters.

Masters (Female)

A female oarsperson who shall be 41 years of age as of December 31 this year.

Masters (Male)

Any oarsperson who shall be 46 years of age as of December 31 this year.

Coxwains must be 19 years of age as of December 31 of this year.

Minimum age of any oarsperson is 10 years, as of December 31 this year.

Course Layout

The course of the Royal St. John’s Regatta is possibly the most unique boat racing course in the world. Unlike most other racing courses, the length of Quidi Vidi Lake forces competitors to turn a set of buoys at the bottom of the pond in the full course, and a set of buoys at the center of the pond for the half course.

Both courses follow the same set of rules for conduct and sportsmanship.

Full Course

With an overall length of 2.45 km (1.52 miles), the full course is a grueling testimony to the sport of boat racing. The crew must line themselves at their respective stake and, when the signal is given, race to their designated buoy at the bottom of the pond.

Should one full minute elapse with no mis-start, accident or equipment damage, the race is considered official and will not be stopped unless an emergency occurs.

The first crew reaching their buoy will be given right of way to round the buoy. To successfully complete the course, crews must round the buoy on the south side, and approach their starting stake on the north side. The distance between the buoys at the top of the pond is 36.5 meters (119.75 feet) and at the foot of the pond they are 15.7 meters (51.5 feet).

Half Course

Though a shorter course, it is no less grueling or impressive to watch.

The length of the course comes in at 1.225 km (0.76 miles) and like the full course, crews must reach their buoys and round them on the south side, approaching their starting positions from the north.

The distance between buoys are the same in both courses as is giving right of way to the crew which reaches their buoy first.

Racing at Dawn
Regatta Shell Footing
Regatta Memories

Committee Color Assignment for Racing Shells

Brown Bottom Shells

Shell Name Colour
Pomerleau Gold
Cougar Helicopters Soteria Blue
Gerry Angel Green
Dictator Red
Iceberg Gold White
Miss Tubular Tan

White Bottom Shells

Shell Name Colour
The OZ Network Gold
The Newfoundland Herald Blue
Smith Stockley Green
The Henley Red
President’s Choice White
The Broker Tan

Fibreglass Group A Shells

Shell Name Colour
Miss India II Gold
Stroke of Power Blue
Smith Stockley II Green
Catherine M Red
The NTV Network White
The Ranger Tan

Fibreglass Group B Shells

Shell Name Colour
Lamb’s Palm Breeze Gold
HydroWise Blue
The Telegram Green
The Sea-Hawk Red
The CBC White
The Marine Institute Tan

St. John’s Rowing Club

Located in the Boathouse on Quidi Vidi Lake, the St. John’s Rowing Club is the only sliding seat rowing club in Newfoundland. The club offers many learn-to-row programs, geared towards all ages and experiences, offers high school and college programs, and also acts as the main training facility for the Newfoundland Rowing Team.

With certified coaches and well planned programs the club can meet all of your rowing needs. Please visit their website or contact them via phone at 576-0082 or e-mail for more information on how you can get involved in slide-seat rowing.
St. John's Rowing Club
Royal St. John's Regatta Day Rowing Turn

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the requirements to row in the Regatta?

    In order to row in the Royal St. John’s Regatta, you must have a team of six (6) regular oarspersons, and a certified Coxswain. Most teams have a sponsor to provide financial support as well. Having a spare would be ideal in case someone cannot make a practice or in case anything goes wrong Regatta Day, but is not required. A coach or manager would also be ideal, but is not required.

  • How do I start rowing?

    Please see our How to Establish a Team page for more information on how to start a new rowing team. There are many ways to get involved with fixed-seat rowing. The best way would be to contact our Technical Coordinator at the boathouse, who will be organizing our Learn To Row Programs and will be putting together crews throughout the summer. We also have a Facebook page and bulletin boards at the boathouse which many people use to notify that they are looking for crews, rowers, coxswains, etc.

  • What is the “Learn to Row” programs?

    The Chevron Learn to Row (CLTR) program is a free program offered by the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee to teach newcomers the sport of fixed-seat rowing. Please visit the Chevron Learn to Row page for more information.

  • What is Discovery Day Regatta?

    The Discovery Day Regatta is a practice regatta held towards the end of June. For new and experienced crews, it is a chance to experience a race scenario before Time Trials and Regatta Day. Please visit the Discovery Day Regatta page for more information.

  • What are Time Trials?

    The purpose of the Time Trials is to determine the make-up of each Regatta Day race based upon the times rowed by the crews participating in the Time Trial heats. For each Regatta Day race, the team with the fastest time will be assigned Stake 1, the second fastest assigned Stake 2, and so on until the slowest team is assigned Stake 5. For more information visit the Time Trials page.

  • How do I book spins?

    In 2015, we implemented an online booking system. For more information or to book a spin click here.

  • What if I don’t have a Coxswain?

    If you cannot find a Coxswain, Technical Coordinator may be available to take you out for practice until you can find one, should we have one in place. They may also be able to help your crew find a Coxswain.

  • How Do I become a Coxswain?

    To become a Coxswain, an individual must be nineteen (19) years of age as of December 31st of any year in which the rowing event is held. They must then participate in the Learn to Coxswain program, offered multiple times each season.

  • Can I row with more than one crew?

    Any oarsperson, rower or spare, is only permitted to register and row with one (1) crew.

  • When is registration due?

    In order for any crew to use our facilities and utilize the veribook system, they must have their registration, waivers and fees submitted (via EMT – ) prior to booking a spin.