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”

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

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:

  • for the winning school eight and quad
  • for the second-placed school eight and quad


This years October camp was held at VLC using Sable House for accommodation for the boys. This gave the boys access to the Jeppe Rowing Centre for weight & ergo training and to VLC for water training. Was a first for Jeppe rowing but worked out very well considering the options of going to either Visarend (covid regulations) or Roodeplaat (water pollution) were not available.

Our latest raffle at Jeppe Boats and Blades is giving you the chance of winning either a displayed Gilbert Size 5 Springbok™ Rugby Ball signed by Francois Pienaar or the 2nd prize of a Proteas Signed Cricket Bat


The raffle is now closed. Thank you to everyone who supported us and purchased a ticket. A total of 71 tickets were sold and the winning ticket was drawn by Tracy’s family for us on June 30th. 

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Congratulations to James Johnston who was selected as the winner and thanks again to everyone for your support.

In conjunction with Simon Moore, director of Jeppe rowing and the rowing club, we are pleased to announce that with the use of drones, we will be streaming three events from SA Champs 2021 this Sunday. The 3 events will be:

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JM16 4+ Final – 14:38

JM16 4x Final – 15:38 (Junior Women)

JM18 8+ Final – 16:26

By using drone’s for the streaming, you will get up real close and see all the race action. Simon Moore says:

‘We believe Jeppe are at the forefront of technology with pursuing this technological capability and also believe it will create greater amount of access/ exposure to rowing and therefore help grow the profile of the sport’.

Viewing is free and YouTube links will be provided on the Backsplash and Jeppe Boats and Blades Facebook pages 10 minutes before the race starting times.

It would be great to get your feedback on the races and on the quality of the feeds.

See you at the races on Sunday

2020 was a phenomenal year for Jeppe Rowing. In reading this statement the natural conclusion would be to look for the results achieved at regattas. COVID 19 restrictions put a stop to that, so instead we will measure success through other achievements.

Thanks to the support and generosity of the school, the Jeppe Rowing Club and Jeppe boys (past and present), Jeppe Boats and Blades raised R500 000 to purchase “Damascus” for the 1st 8 crew. This in itself was a significant achievement but 2020 still had a lot more to give and we were able to acquire another 13 boats (complete with blades) for the club.

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Sunday the 11th April 2021 will leave an indelible memory for every person who attended the event or watched the live stream from around the world.

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The Kiwi Pair,” the New Zealand pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, was the most successful men’s pair in the history of rowing. In addition to world records, gold medals, and total dominance during their unbeaten streak of 2009-2016, the duo are known for shaking things up and not being afraid to train differently, and for openly questioning some of the dogma in rowing training. It became known at some point that the duo were not doing traditional strength training with barbells and free weights. “The Kiwi Pair Doesn’t Lift” then became a meme around the Internet to justify a lack of strength training in rowing programs.

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