Hundreds of rowers expected at this weekend’s RMB Buffalo Regatta
The road to Buffalo City has started for rowers from around the country. The 2023 regatta takes place from 9 to 11 February at the East London Boating Association (ELBA).
The RMB Buffalo Regatta is the oldest sporting event in South Africa, dating back to 1881. The regatta has survived several wars (including two world wars), as well as the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been dubbed SA’s best regatta by Olympic rower Jake Green, who himself won the Silver Sculls Trophy last year.
“I think the atmosphere created by fitting everyone from the school teams to the elite rowers into one venue is special,” he says. “Plus, the Buffalo River creates some unpredictable and unique rowing conditions, which adds another element to tackling the racing over the weekend.
“The Grand Challenge and Silver Sculls are the most prestigious events in South African
men’s rowing and only the best rowers our country produces get to hold those trophies-something I have managed to do on a few occasions.”
The 2000-metre course takes rowers down the Buffalo River, exposing them to additional external factors such as tides and currents, which we don’t see on dams or lakes.
Athletes from the RMB National Squad who are currently training toward qualifying for the Paris Olympics will be joining their respective university rowing clubs for the weekend. Not only will the RMB National Squad athletes be racing for the trophies, they are racing against their teammates. They want the head coach of the RMB National Squad, Tiago Loureiro, to notice them and consider them for a seat in the Paris team!
This is the sixth consecutive year that Rand Merchant Bank has come on board as headline sponsor of the RMB Buffalo Regatta. The sponsorship goes beyond naming rights, though. Rand Merchant Bank has contributed to numerous initiatives to grow the sport, from helping to build ELBA’s new Umpire Tower, to supporting numerous development rowing initiatives.
Spectators are welcome to come and meet the RMB National Squad and watch some