Regatta Volunteers

Volunteering at Regattas

Regatta format

Most regattas are run over two days with three sessions a day. Volunteers are required for all sessions and are in short supply for the first session on Saturday and last session on Sunday.

Volunteer roles generally stretch over the whole session and require a short lead in time before the first race of the session for training and preparation.

Requests regarding availability are emailed the week before the regatta, enabling a roster to be drawn up and circulated for the weekend.

All volunteers are provided training by qualified and experienced Officials.

Boat drivers & Rescue personnel

Contact Peter George

Boat drivers pilot the Umpire boats under the instruction of the Umpire. A Motorboat licence is essential.

Volunteers are required 20 minutes before the start of the session until the end of the last race of the session. There are three sessions each day.

Rescue personnel are the first responders to incidents on-water. They are provided one to one practical training, need to have good boat handling skills and First Aid qualifications are preferred.

People wishing to volunteer for the boat driving team should complete a  contact form.

Boat Safety Checks

Contact Phil Fraser or Tina Maher 

Volunteers will undertake safety checks of boats before crews go on the water. Checks include correct height heel ties, quick release shoe ties, correctly attached bow balls and intact hatch covers to ensure they are in line with safety requirements.

Safety is the primary principle, and the focus is to educate rowers, coaches and parents.

Judges / Finish line

Contact Tina Maher 

Working as part of a team under the guidance of the Chief Judge primary duties are to record the order boats cross the finish line and times of the event.

Other activities include use of handheld timers, lights and horn operation, scribing finishing order and times, data input, camera operation and marshalling crews once they have crossed the finish line.

Volunteers are required 20 minutes before the start of the session until the end of the session, for at least one session a regatta. Preference is for two or more sessions to reduce training time.


Contact Phil Fraser or Tina Maher  

Umpires are responsible for the safe and fair conduct of a race. Umpires are required to do a short theoretical course to learn the rules and one-to-one training is provided on-water with a qualified Boat Race Official (BRO) over the course of a season.

A Level 1 Boat Race Official accreditation course is available online.

A Motorboat license is preferred but is not essential provided your Boat Driver is qualified.

Starter and Aligner roles are filled by experienced and qualified (BROs).  

BROs appointed for each regatta form what is referred to as the Jury and usually meet one hour before the start of each day’s racing.

Volunteers who are interested in umpiring are encouraged to attend the Jury meetings but at a minimum are required 20 minutes before the start of the session until the end of the last race of the session and preference is for a minimum of two sessions a regatta. Some knowledge of rowing is useful but not essential.

Umpires are in very short supply especially at school regattas.

Bow numbers/Office Assistants

Contact Karen Bain

Issue and return of bow numbers using a simple computer program. Requires 1-2 people from 75 minutes before the first race until all numbers have been returned at the end of the day. Follow a loose roster with others to cover the day.

Office assistants learn to use the regatta program and perform crew changes and scratching, answer the radio, printing. Backup and relief for the Regatta Manager.


Contact Rob Prescott

Commentating in a fair, respectful, and supportive manner is of utmost importance. A computer is provided to assist in calling the race and naming clubs and athletes competing. Some knowledge of rowing may be helpful but is not mandatory.

Volunteers are required 15 minutes before the start of the session until the end of the last race of the session. It is useful to have 2 volunteers at any one time (but no more).


Talk to your School or Club Manager

The kiosk is staffed by volunteers. A request is sent to all clubs and schools during the off season to volunteer in the kiosk. Clubs and Schools receive a percentage of the profits for their fundraising on a pro rata basis.

End of Regatta pack up

Contact Rob Prescott

At the end of each regatta everything must be put away. Umpire boats, rescue boats, life jackets, rubbish bins, finish line equipment, bow numbers, computers, radios on to charge. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Boat holding (School regattas only)

Contact Karen Bain

Boat holders are required for all 2000m starts from the start pontoon.

2000m starts are generally at the beginning of each session.

Volunteers (eight) meet at the boat ramp 30 minutes before the first race start and are taken by boat to the start pontoon. When the last boat has started, they are bought back to shore. A nice way to get a small lake tour.

General information

The more people who volunteer at a regatta the less sessions each volunteer needs to do each regatta which would give a much better balance of volunteering and relaxation for everyone.

Currently our volunteers are working all weekend with minimal breaks in all weather conditions as we struggle to find enough volunteers to run a regatta. We are desperately short of on water Umpires.

Our Umpires are an aging group, most are over 60yo and do not have family rowing anymore.  Many of them are seeking to balance regattas with other activities and family responsibilities and are talking of retiring in the near future. ed by


BRO and Regatta Volunteer FAQs

I don’t have a lot of time at weekends. Can I still be a BRO?

Absolutely. With a range of roles and flexible hours and schedules available, being a Regatta Volunteer BRO doesn’t take up as much time as you might think.

Isn’t it a lot of hard work? I don’t have a lot of time for training.

While there’s some training involved, the level and intensity depends on the role you choose. What’s more, we break our free training down into bite-sized chunks that you can tackle at your own pace.

If I volunteer, do I have to spend the day on the water?

Not at all. There’s a range of land-based and water-based volunteer roles to choose from, and you don’t have to commit to a full day at regattas – choose the hours/schedule that suits you.

If I become a regatta volunteer do I then have to become a BRO?

Not at all. Everyone starts with Rowing Tasmania as a Regatta Volunteer or Trainee Boat Race Official. If you enjoy the Boat Race Officiating aspect then you can continue on that pathway to obtain your Level 1 BRO accreditation or alternatively you can remain a Regatta Volunteer for as long as you would like.


For more information please contact either:

Mobile: 0428769464

Contact Form Link:

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