The Home International Regatta, the historic annual challenge match between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales is to be transformed after exciting new changes were unanimously approved by its General Management Committee.
The changes announced today, place the prestigious competition, running since 1962, at the cutting edge of international rowing competition and will ensure that it continues to be a valued and relevant team event for rowers from across the Home Nations.
A new race programme will see the team size reduce by approximately 25%, improving competition for places, ensuring that the best rowers get the opportunity to represent their country, and helping to support a more aspirational performance pathway event.
The new-look team will get the opportunity to showcase their skills in different boat classes and across multiple race distances with the introduction of a new sprint format for quads and eights as part of the core race schedule.
With a commitment to creating quality racing opportunities for Para Rowers, the Home International Regatta will work more closely with the Home Nations earlier in the season to identify and support prospective Para Rowers with the aim of delivering full and competitive races.
Commenting on the changes, Lee Boucher representing the Home International Regatta GMC, said:
“The Home International Regatta has played a vital role in the development of emerging rowers over the years and is seen as a first stepping stone for many into international competition.
“Central to the ethos of the event is the team-based element, where every race counts, and we are delighted that whilst announcing these innovative changes we have been able to protect the integrity of the competition.
“All rowers selected to represent their country at the Home International Regatta will now be guaranteed a minimum of two races, with the majority of the team racing three times including over the new 500 metre course which we know will add to both the competitor and spectator experience.
“To support the new format, we have also had to make some difficult decisions including the reduction in the number of lightweight seats available to each team. This decision has been made following a review of the number of lightweight rowers trialling and competing for each team.”
The new race format and event changes will be launched at the 2020 regatta which will be hosted by Wales at Strathclyde Park on Saturday 25 July 2020. The decision to host at Strathclyde Park has been taken by Welsh Rowing due to a lack of a suitable and cost-effective regatta course in Wales.
ABOUT THE HOME INTERNATIONAL REGATTA
First held in 1962, the HIR has provided a high-quality racing opportunity for thousands of rowers, many of whom have gone on to represent their country at the Olympic Games.
Dame Katherine Grainger (Scotland), Rebecca Girling (Wales), Mohamed Sbihi (England) and Paul O’Donovan (Ireland) all cut their racing teeth at the Home International.
The HIR General Management Committee is formed of representatives nominated by their respective Home Nation. The current committee comprises of Eira Parry (England), Denis O’Regan (Ireland), Lee Boucher (Scotland) and Zoe Davies (Wales).
KEY FACTS – HOME INTERNATIONAL REGATTA 2020
- 44 races (34 over 2000m; 10 over 500m) in one day
- Race gaps between 5 minutes (500m) and 8 minutes (2000m)
- Up to 62 athletes competing per team (down from 80 athletes in previous years)
- Each team member must compete in a minimum of two races at the regatta
- Equal number of male and female athletes in each team
- HIR 2020 takes place the day after the start of the 2020 Olympic Regatta
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To contact the Home International Regatta General Management Committee: