Series Update – 2020

With the first two regattas of the 96th JB Sharp Memorial Regatta Series completed, the Sharp series is well and truly underway! Glebe has taken an early lead in the series, currently topping the JB Sharp Memorial Regatta Series Point score. View the full point score here.

The next regatta, hosted by Drummoyne Rowing Club, is on this Sunday, and entries are open now via Rowing Manager.

Following this week’s regatta, the series will return in 2 weeks with the Balmain Regatta, and then in 3 weeks for the final regatta at Leichhardt. The full series calendar is available here, and entries are due by 3.00pm the Friday before each event.

The Handicap Scull Events

The Men’s and Women’s Handicap Single Sculls are unique events in the NSW rowing calendar. These events see each competitor assigned a handicap (an amount of time after “go” before they are allowed to start racing), and a series winner crowned at the end of each season.

The Handicap Scull is an individual event – the point score is personal, and performances in the Handicap Scull do not count towards the overall series point score. Some previous winners of the Handicap Scull include Bobby Pearce, Cec Pearce, Gary Pearce, Kevyn Webb, Richard Roach, David Taylor, amongst other notable winners.

Originally, all competitors battled against each other (and the handicapper) for a shot at the ‘Walker and Hall Chalice.’ However in 2017 the event was divided into two races. Now, female competitors race for the newly minted ‘BMG Aviation Chalice’, and the male competitors race for the ‘Walker and Hall Chalice.’ The event still runs today with one division for men, and one division for women, regardless of the size of the field.

The handicap scull still remains an incredible spectacle, with over 40 entrants in the last regatta. Here’s the full video of the Men’s and Women’s handicap scull from our livestream.

Entries for 2020

Traditionally, the JB Sharp Memorial Regatta Series was open only to the ‘bay clubs’ of Balmain, Drummoyne, Glebe, Leichhardt, and UTS / Haberfield Rowing Clubs. However, in 1999 the series was opened to ‘non-bay clubs’, allowing all NSW Rowing Clubs to compete.

The Series has always adopted a flexible approach to entries – crews could simply ensure they were present at the start line (and eligible for the event) to enter into a race. Crews only had to register to compete in a small number of events (such as the novice and handicap scull events).

However, in 2020 entries must be submitted via Rowing Manager by 3.00pm on the Friday before each regatta. This rule has been passed in response to the additional record-keeping requirements to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to all clubs who have submitted their entries already – it has been a huge help to all volunteer and boat race officials to receive these entries in advance of the regatta!

History of the Series

The JB Sharp Memorial Regatta Series is the longest running winter rowing regatta series in Australia. Inaugurated by the late J B Sharp, the series has run continuously since 1924, having been initially contested between Balmain, Leichhardt and Drummoyne Rowing Clubs.

The series’ Patron, John Sharp, is the great grandson of J B Sharp, and the J B Sharp series is enormously grateful for his continued support and involvement in the series.

Read more about the history of the series on our website.

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