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Gravesend Town Regatta

The origin of Gravesend Regatta is lost in the mists of time, but there is little doubt that they were held as far back as Tudor times.

The first definite records of properly organised rowing matches date from 1698, with the Mayor of the Borough and Sir John Marsham being particularly enthusiastic patrons. According to legend, Thomas Doggett, of Coat and Badge fame, patronised the Town Regatta in 1715.

The boat crews always raced in Gravesend skiffs. These are 21 feet long traditional oak replicas of clinker built boats. Some of these boats have been built by a local skilled craftsman, Eric Mastin. Gravesend Regatta Committee has, in recent times, commissioned the building of two new skiffs, and these, too, were built by present day members of the committee. However, since Mr Mastin sadly passed away in January 2004, we no longer have anyone on the committee with the expertise to either build new boats or maintain the existing ones. With this in mind the committee has over the last few years, gradually purchased fibre glass Clayton skiffs. 2007 saw the final purchase bringing our regatta fleet to four boats. They are a much lighter boat, which means that the junior crews for the Summer Regatta find them a lot easier to row. Maintenance is far easier and the boats are less likely to deteriorate due to weather conditions.

For more information please visit the Gravesend Regatta Committee's website (opens in a new window).