Shaldon Regatta dinghies

Historically competitors used their own boats or borrowed friends boats to take part in the Regatta rowing races. Therefore if you were not one of these select few you could not take part. This was seen as detrimental to the "open to all philosophy" that the committee wanted to promote. So in the early 1970s they decided to produce and make available a standard "Shaldon Regatta Dinghy." Thanks to Roger Stoyle and James Hulbert of Mariners Weigh, the Shaldon boat suppliers and chandlers, who led the project and the committee who raised money through sponsored events, six boats and oars were built. These were made available on a "first come" basis for races, to locals and visitors who may not have even been in a boat before so that they could take part in all the fun on the water.

Since then 'Regatta dinghies' have became the standard river Teign rowing dinghies and many hundreds were built and sold through Mariners Weigh. Along the way several alternative moulds were made but still complied with the design and measurements of the original. 

In the 1980s it was decided that only glass fibre Shaldon Regatta Dinghies should be eligible for the races, thus disallowing all other boats.   

In the early 2000s the six original Regatta dinghies that had done such an excellent job of opening up rowing to so many were now seen to be a bit to heavy to be competitive against the more modern dinghies so, Ray Edworthy, Alan Jones and Keith Stoyle took up the challenge to sell them off to local bidders and replace them with eight modern dinghies and new 'spoon blade' oars. This was funded by a Lottery Grant. They have been used to great success in the following years and have increased the number of rowers taking part in all the races. It is especially gratifying to see how many youngsters use them, especially on Junior Rowing nights in the summer. 

In 2018 the fleet of dinghies were again sold and six new dinghies built by local boat builder Bill Belton of River Teign Rowing Boats. Come along and enjoy having a row in them during our regatta this year!

Seine boats and seine boat racing history

These started decades ago between fishermen who used the boats for salmon seine netting and collecting mussels. The boats would have been rowed using longer oars than seen today. Also they would have been fitted with sails for getting to the mussel beds. Up to 20 boats used to operate on the Teign catching 100s of salmon per year. Nowadays only two boats are in operation catching maybe 20-30 salmon in a very short season.

Modern day Seine boat racing was started by Shaldon Regatta in the 1970s as part of the Dawlish to Shaldon rowing race. Wooden seine boats were borrowed from local fishermen, often for the cost of a bottle of something  strong, and temporarily modified to be rowed by four people with a cox to steer.

In the early 1990s a somewhat bleary discussion in The Ferryboat Inn between several of the Shaldon Regatta committee, a boatman from Teignmouth, and a boat builder came up with the idea to build some boats in glass fibre......low and behold they remembered the conversation! And the first three boats were built, two for Shaldon Regatta and one for the boat builder.

The first modern day races were started the next summer and proved a great success being separate from the Dawlish row.

Further discussions took place following this success and a group of people from the Teignmouth side of the river formed the nucleus of the River Teign Rowing Club which started in 1994 with about 30 members and six boats in competition and has grown to over 500 members and regularly has 20+ boats rowing in a fortnightly series all summer.

Seine boat bookings

Our three Seine boats are in use all the year round. They are booked out on an hourly basis for Summer and winter periods,  by local teams of race and leisure rowers.

For bookings and confirmation of charges, contact Chris on 01626873807. Lists of current bookings and rules are displayed on our notice board by the Ferry Shelter.