Welcome to the 2017 Aberdeen Inter-Company Row!

The Aberdeen Inter-Company Row is the most successful corporate rowing event in the UK and every year sees competitors from up to 40 organisations take to the River Dee to try their hand at one of Britain’s most successful Olympic sports.

Run by Aberdeen Boat Club the event is now in its 33rd year and continues to go from strength to strength. Every year crews progress from enthusiastic novices to spirited competitors on Inter-Company Regatta day, which this year is on Saturday 24th June. The most successful crews take away a range of prizes – everybody takes away happy memories of healthy, team working in a new sport. Many decide to carry on rowing.

We hope you will decide to take up the challenge and join us for the 2017 Aberdeen Inter-Company Row. All the information you need to get started is on this website or Contact Us to find out more.

Event Details

Crews of four people are invited to enter from any local employer or organisation in any sector. Crews of two men and two women are preferred but a handicap system is used at the Regatta for crews of different combinations. The event is strictly for novices – no crew member can have any prior rowing experience.

Each crew receives six 1 ½ hour lessons from their allocated Aberdeen Boat Club cox. These take place outside normal working hours, generally at evenings or weekends at a time to suit the cox and crew.

All the equipment required is provided by Aberdeen Boat Club and crews are taught in a safe environment, starting with land-based training and some essential health and safety information, before venturing onto the water with an experienced cox.

The event culminates in the Inter-Company Regatta when all the crews come together to race against each other over a 500 metre course. The winning crew takes home the Gavin Booth Trophy and a there are a range of other prizes on offer for 2nd, 3rd, 4th place and the Best Named Crew, Best Supported Crew and Best Dressed Crew.

How to Enter

Entering the 2016 Aberdeen Inter-Company Row

The official entry form and introductory letter for the 2017 Aberdeen Inter-Company Row are now available for download.

Your entry form and £360 entry fee should be returned to Carol Bruce by email or to Aberdeen Boat Club

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions tab to find out more about the entry requirements or contact Carol (abcintercompanyrow@gmail.com, 07427662519) if you would like to know more.

The Regatta

The Regatta is a fun-filled, day-long event and is a great experience for competitors and their supporting friends, family and colleagues.

The event typically starts at 10am with a round-robin stage in which each crew will have a minimum of three races. Crews race over a 500 metre course which finishes at Aberdeen Boat Club and takes around three minutes.

Successful crews then move on to the knock-out stages, potentially racing another four times before picking up the winners’ trophy for their company at the official prize giving. A full programme will be published closer to the event, listing all the crews and races.

Extensive snack, BBQ and bar facilities are available throughout the day and full race commentary is provided to keep spectators up to speed with the race results. The Regatta typically finishes around 6pm - when the party begins!

Remember with prizes for Best Dressed, Best Supported and Best Named crew it’s not all about winning! Fancy dress and themed crew names are enthusiastically encouraged as is a visible and vocal supporting cast! There is also an ‘ergo challenge’ open to competitors and spectators to see who is fastest and fittest on a rowing machine!

About Rowing

Rowing is hugely rewarding - it is an excellent team-building sport as well as being a superb way to get fit. Many people who start out at the Inter-Company Row are bitten by the bug and continue rowing for years.

The same technique is used from novice to international level. So take part in the Aberdeen Inter-Company Row and you will be learning the same basic skills and techniques which you have seen performed at the highest level by the likes of Katherine Grainger, Matthew Pinsent or Steve Redgrave or perhaps when tuning into the Oxford vs Cambridge University Boat Race.

Read our beginners guide to rowing here to learn the basics about rowing and the inter-company training.

Far from being the end of your rowing experience, the Inter-Company Regatta could be just the start! All competitors have temporary rowing membership of Aberdeen Boat Club and can continue rowing until September 2017.

Many Inter-Company rowers have gone on to compete in races all around Scotland including the Scottish Championships.

Training Times

Training sessions for the Inter-Company Row are shown in the ABC boathouse. Crews are allowed six sessions of 1 ½ hours on the water prior to the Regatta. Please note that because of the tides sessions change from week to week.

It is a good idea to agree training times with your cox and crew on a fortnightly basis and book the boats in advance. Please note that boats can only be booked by filling in the boat booking sheet on the notice board at the boat club. There is usually strong demand for boats throughout the training period, but particularly in the weeks immediately prior to the Regatta.

To get the most from your training you should aim to arrive well before your session starts so you get the maximum time on the water. Please be considerate to other crews and make sure your boat is returned promptly at the end of your session – another crew may be waiting on the bank to take it out. If you need to cancel a session please ensure that you cancel your booking on the sheet in the club house so another crew can use the boat if required.

Results & Photos

Previous winners of the Gavin Booth Trophy

  1. 1985 – Shell
  2. 1986 – Texaco
  3. 1987 -
  4. 1988 – Occidental
  5. 1989 – Rowett Institute
  6. 1990 – Horticulture G.R.C.
  7. 1991 – W.A. Fairhurst & Partners
  8. 1992 – Astoundingly Underrated Aquatic Athletes
  9. 1993 – Silver City Blues Masters Swim Club
  10. 1994 – Mobil
  11. 1995 – Bond
  12. 1996 – A.M.E.C.
  13. 1997 – Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
  14. 1998 – E.T.A.P. (Brown & Root)
  15. 1999 – Schlumberger
  16. 2000 – Deeside Studio
  17. 2001 – Dolphin Drilling
  18. 2002 – QCL International
  19. 2003 – Aberdeen Asset Management
  20. 2004 – W.S. Atkins
  21. 2005 – Nexen Petroleum Ltd
  22. 2006 - Subsea 7
  23. 2007 - DNV
  24. 2008 – Subsea 7
  25. 2009 – Schlumberger
  26. 2010 – Xodus
  27. 2011 – Optimus
  28. 2012 – Schlumberger
  29. 2013 – Flybe
  30. 2014 – Maersk
  31. 2015 – DNV GL
  32. 2016 – Coming soon

See all the action from previous Aberdeen Inter-Company Rows on the Committee of the Dee website:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who can enter the Aberdeen Inter-Company Row?

A. Anyone can enter – as long as they have never rowed in a racing rowing boat before. If you have rowed a tub around a boating pond at the local park we won’t hold that against you! Using the rowing machine at the gym is also fine! But every now and then we find people who have obviously rowed before trying to sneak into the competition and out of fairness to the other competitors the club reserves the right to disqualify these crews.

Q. I have found a crew of four people who want to take part but we don’t all work for the same company – can we still enter?

A. Yes! Entries by groups of friends, other organisations such as football clubs and crews made up of more than one company are more than welcome.


Q. We would like to enter a crew which is not made up of two men and two women – what is the handicap system?

A. For every additional male above 2, the crew incurs a 1 1/2 length per male negative handicap. For every additional female above 2, the crew gains a 1 length positive handicap. That means, for example, that crews made up of three men and one woman have a one and a half boat length handicap while crews made up of four men have a three boat length handicap. A boat made up of 3 women and a man would get a head start of one boat length over a 2+2 team.


Q. What kind of companies take part?

A. All sorts! Participants in recent years have included – Aberdeen Appointments Agency, Aberdeen Asset Management, Abermed, Aberdeen City Council, Aker Kvaerner, Bibby Offshore, CNR, ConocoPhillips, Capita Health Solutions, CC Drilling Engineering Ltd, DNV, DoF Subsea UK Ltd, Dee Vale LFC, Exxon Mobil, Gyrodata Ltd, Genesis, Halliburton, Lloyds Register, Ledingham Chalmers LLP, NDB Ltd, NHS Grampian, Premier Oilfield Rentals, Prosafe Offshore, PSN, Pathfinder Energy Services, Petrofac, Pdi Ltd, Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace, Rushmore Reviews, Scottish Natural Heritage, Subsea 7, Schlumberger, Scottish Television, Simmons & Company, Shell, Sulzer Wood Ltd, Space Solutions, SAIC Ltd, Technip UK Ltd, Target Well Control Ltd, Venture Production.


Q. What health and safety precautions are there?

A. Although capsizing is extremely rare, as a precaution we ask that all crew members are capable of swimming 25 metres fully clothed. Your cox will talk you through the capsize procedure before you set out on the water. Other measures which are in place for the health and safety of the crews include; experienced coxes, race organisers and umpires, land-based training and health and safety briefings before going on the water and safety launches on hand throughout the Regatta. Crews are advised to follow their cox’s instructions and those of the race officials at all times. It is the responsibility of each participant to ensure they are physically fit and well enough to undertake the training.


Q. Do I need any special clothing or equipment?

A. No. Aberdeen Boat Club provides all the equipment required. You don’t need any special clothing – just the kind of sports kit you might wear for running and going to the gym etc. Be aware that baggy jogging bottoms can catch on the inside of the boat so are best avoided. Wear layers to keep warm which can be removed and stored in the boat as you warm up and have a waterproof top available in inclement weather.


Q. Do you wear lifejackets?

A. No. It is not possible to row while wearing a life jacket – it impedes the rowing stroke. The cox wears a life jacket because his role is to steer and give instructions and neither of these jobs is impeded by wearing a life jacket. Also, in the event of a capsize, the cox is responsible for the safety of the rest of the crew.


Q. I am right / left handed – is there a particular side I should row on?

A. No, this has no bearing at all on your ability to row on stroke side (oar on the right side of the boat) or bow side (oar on the left). As part of your training your cox may try you out on both sides and in different seats in the boat to see which position suits you best and makes the crew row most efficiently.


Q. How physically demanding is the training?

A. In truth, this depends how seriously you want to take the training and how fit you are to start with. Performed at a high level rowing is one of the most physically demanding sports, but at beginners level this does not need to be the case. Your cox will tailor your training to your ability and wishes. You should ideally have a basic level of fitness and let your cox know of any injuries or illnesses before you start.


Q. Can we have more than six training sessions?

A. Unfortunately not. To ensure fairness across the board each crew only receives six outings on the water although this may be supplemented by some land-based training on the rowing machine, for example. Remember if you find yourself bitten by the bug and itching to row some more you can continue as a member of the club after the Regatta!