About the Regatta

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About the Regatta

The City of Exeter rowing regatta is believed to be Exeter’s oldest sporting event.

Currently held annually at Exeter Quay, the regatta is part of the West of England Amateur Rowing Association championship.


Rowing was a very popular sport in the 19th Century, with both an amateur and professional status.

There was an Isca Boat Club rowing on the Exe and competing in the early 1800s, but few details remain of their activities. Records from Exeter Rowing Club show that the ERC and Isca were both racing in 1864. Read more about the history of Exeter Rowing Club

The first meeting of the West of England Amateur rowing Association (W.E.A.R.A) was held at The Bradley Hotel, Newton Abbott on 29th January 1896. The meeting included delegates from Exeter ARC, Totnes ARC, Dart ARC, Torquay ARC, Paignton ARC, and Dartmouth ARC.

In 1897, the first WEARA regattas were held at Exeter, Torquay, Paignton, Bideford and Totnes. Read more about WEARA history.

From the 1890s up to the 1940s a number of rowing clubs existed in Exeter including Exeter Amateur Rowing Club based at Port Royal, the St Thomas Amateur Rowing Club formed in the 1890s and the Exeter Port Royal Amateur Rowing Club which was formed in 1927.  Read more about Port Royal relationship with rowing.

Film taken in the 1920s of Exeter Regatta 

Exeter Quay

Exeter’s Historic Quayside is one of the most popular areas of Exeter with locals and visitors alike.

In use since Roman times, the Quay is home to many historic building and attractions including the custom house 1676, a number of converted historic warehouses, the old transit shed, pubs,  restaurants, cafes, shops and sports centres.

The quay runs beside the river Exe. It is bordered by Exeter Canal, which was built in 1566 to allow deep water access for  international trade.

Regatta Officers and Committee

The regatta is managed and run by the Regatta Committee.

  • President The Lord Mayor Of Exeter
  • Chairman P E H Wilson Esq
  • General Secretary C S Rogers Esq
  • Rowing Secretary D Woods Esq
  • Treasurer N Wilmington Esq
  • Press and media C Arbon

Event support

Support for the running of the regatta is provided by members of the Exeter Rowing Club and Friends of the regatta.