About the boat race

The SASRU Schools Boat Race takes place in response to the “Boat Race Challenge”

Next boat race

To be confirmed
December 2024

(24th Schools Boat Race)

The SASRU Boat Race Challenges ...

“That once each year, the gentlemanly pride of each of South Africa’s leading schools for boys
convene at an agreed venue in a trial of strength and wits,
to participate in a race for eight-oared boats over a distance of six-and-one-third kilometres.”
“That once each year representative ladies from South Africa’s leading schools for girls
convene at an agreed venue in a trial of strength and wits,
to participate in a quadruple sculls race over a distance of four-and-one-half kilometres”

That once each year ...

The SASRU BOAT RACE takes place on a suitable Saturday as close to the first weekend, as possible in December. This falls early in the school holidays of all provincial and independent schools – towards the middle of the South African rowing season when schools’ should be nearing the end of the endurance-training and strength-training part of the season, before the 2000m sprints season which culminates in the Schools’ Rowing Championships in March.

The pride of South Africa's schools ...

When the BOAT RACE started in 2000 there were ten South African schools that rowed eights. All but one of these participated in the inaugural BOAT RACE in Cape Town in 2000. The Girls race was introduced in 2001.

A race for eight-oared boats ...

Entries are confined to each school’s First VIII and First Quad. Composite crews are not permitted, however Schools that do not normally row eights/quads are nevertheless invited to put together an eight/quad for the SA SCHOOLS BOAT RACE. The Challenge is an event for schools only.

As for the annual SA Universities Boat Race, the race takes the form of a head-race, to determine “pairings” (with the two fastest crews going to the A-Final; the next two to the B-Final etc). Once “pairings” have been determined, the Challenges are issued by the Captains and two-boat racing over the same course and distance determines the winner and final rankings.

At an agreed venue.

The original idea was that the SA Schools Boat Race should be hosted in turn by the four main rowing provinces at a local provincial venue selected by the host province. However, after the first SA Schools Boat Race in Cape Town, the second in Port Alfred was so successful, that it is was believed the race should alternate between these two venues. Currently the BOAT RACE takes place at Port Alfred each year, this venue has become the traditional Boat Race venue since 2001.

Floating Trophies

Four magnificent Boat Race Floating Trophies have been provided:

Participating Schools

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