regatta london

Rowing, kayak/canoeing and stand up paddle boarding

Regatta London 2019


Please see event website statement for full details. 

🚣‍♂️🏄‍♀️ 🛶 The inaugural Regatta London features a cast of thousands participating in a combination of rowing, kayak/canoeing and stand up paddle boarding in what promises to be a unique celebration of the River Thames.  Races start from 7.30am and spectating is free. 

The brainchild of  three-time Olympic gold medallist Andrew Triggs Hodge, Regatta London was conceived following a challenge by Tideway (the company delivering the Thames Tideway Tunnel for 2024) to come up with an idea of get people onto the river to celebrate the city’s greatest natural asset while raising money for important causes

With the environment at the event’s core, Regatta London champions the benefits the river brings to the capital and celebrates the Thames as one of the largest natural spaces in London.

This morning the waiting is finally over as the River Thames is closed to other boats to enable those participating in the sports – rowing, kayak/canoeing and stand up paddle boarding – a unique opportunity to race past the famous landmarks lining the route.


regatta london

Our spectator guide on where best to watch the action and news on the Olympic rowing stars taking part is below, but first an introduction to the Regatta London’s two different routes: London Crossing and Big Ben Challenge. 

London Crossing has two different start points.  Firstly in Hammersmith (start time circa 7.30am) for the rowing route which is 14 miles in total finishing at finishing at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.  Secondly in Putney (start time circa 8.15am) for the kayak, canoe and stand up paddle boarding route which is 12 miles in total and also finishes at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

Big Ben Challenge is a 12 miles looped course starting and finishing at Putney Embankment (start time circa 8.30am) with a turning point at Westminster and featuring kayak, canoe & stand up paddle boarding. 

Both routes take in iconic London landmarks including Battersea Power Station and The Houses of Parliament.  The London Crossing route will additionally pass by the London Eye, HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge and the Old Royal Naval College.

LONDON CROSSING – Spectator info

BIG BEN CHALLENGE – Spectator info

Ones to watch:  Two teams of international Olympic rowing stars are taking part in the London Crossing event.  Between them the crews, one male and one mixed, have competed in five Olympic games from 2004 to 2016 and won an amazing total of 18 medals.  They include:

Jess Eddie, who competed in three Olympics and won silver with the GB women’s eight at Rio

Andrew Triggs Hodge, who won three Olympic gold medals for GB in 2008, 2012 and 2016

Paul Bennett, who also won gold in the GB men’s eight in Rio in 2016

Julia Michalska, who won bronze for Poland in the women’s double at London 2012

Rebecca Scowen, who won bronze for New Zealand in the women’s pair in London

Start and finish times are as follows (note they are estimates and subject to change on the day):-

London Crossing rowing.  Race starts at 7.30am at Hammersmith Bridge with the first rower anticipated at the finish at Greenwich Navel College at 8.45am.

London Crossing kayak, canoe and stand up paddle boarding.  Race starts at 8.15am at Putney Embankment with the first paddler anticipated at the finish at 9.30am and the final one at 12 noon.

Big Ben Challenge.  Race starts at Putney Embankment at 8.30am with the first paddler due at the finish (also at Putney Embankment) at 9.40am with the final finisher around 12.45pm.

Spectating is free at the start and finish areas and also on the route. 

Recommended viewing spots: The routes (as above) offer numerous locations on the river to get a great view of the event.  Putney Embankment from 7.45am is the place to be to see the London Crossing rowing race (which starts at Hammersmith) pass by, followed by the start of both the London Crossing paddlers and Big Ben Challenge at 8.15am and 8.30am respectively.  From 9.40am the first finishers in the Big Ben Challenge will arrive back with paddlers continuing through the finish line until 12.45pm.  A brass band will be playing with food and drink available.

Westminster Bridge is a great vantage point to see all the participants on both routes.  The London Crossing rowers will start to pass under the bridge from 8.10am followed by the paddlers at 8.50am.  They will be followed by the paddlers in the Big Ben Challenge who will turn at the bridge between 9.30am and 10.40am. 

To see the finish of the London Crossing races head for the event village at Old Royal Navy College (ORNC) where the first rower is expected at around 8.45am with rowers and paddlers continuing to arrive until 12 noon.  A fantastic view point of the finish line is guranteed to the accompaniment of live music with food and drink being served.  The event village will be open from 8am to 3pm.