Molesey Regatta Civic Event Management Plan 2024


Event Management Plan

July 20th and July 21st 2024

A Guide to the

Health, Safety and Welfare of those attending

Published by

Molesey Regatta Committee

In consultation with the Elmbridge Safety Advisory Group

and the Surrey Event Safety Group

Last amended: 2nd April 2019, reviewed 14th April 2024

Status of the Plan – Reviewed, no material changes

For more information see

Please refer any queries to Ted Bates ( or Fiona Wood (

Contents: A Guide to the Health, Safety and Welfare of those participating or attending





Appendix 1 List of Key Personnel

Appendix 2 Water risk assessment

Appendix 3 Land risk assessment

Appendix 4 Maps:

Marquee positioning – ‘marquee positioning.pdf’

Overall layout – ‘Regatta Layout.pdf’


Outline Description of the Event






Command, Control and Communication


Health & Safety

Risk Assessment


Crowd Management

Review & Assumptions

Event Details & Time Scales



Responsibilities & Functions

Chain of Command



Car Parking

Lost Children

Temporary Structures

Emergency Procedures

Evacuation Plan

Medical & First Aid Provision

Emergency Service Vehicle Access to the Route



Molesey Regatta is primarily a rowing event. It also has land activities in terms of spectators, supporters and local residents. It has been established for 155 years, and is allocated the same event date each year by the Thames Regional Rowing Regatta who manage the Thames Rowing Calendar.

The course on Saturday is currently 850 metres long and is competed on by seniors who are over 18 and can be over 70.

The course on Sunday is currently 500 metres long and is competed on by juniors who are 12 to 18.

On each day 170 to 200 crews compete in side by side racing over two lanes, thus over the two days there are almost 2000 sporting participants.

Land activities include a bar, tea and refreshments, a children’s fairground, music in the evening, lunch, a beer festival and shopping (all of these facilities have been withdrawn for the 2021 regatta in recognition of the Covid-19 situation.


To describe the strategic and operational framework of Molesey Regatta, normally held on the third weekend in July under British Rowing guidelines and event insurance.


To deliver a safe and well-organised event.

To ensure effective crowd management arrangements.

To ensure a co-ordinated approach with partners where required, in particular, supporting the work of Surrey County Council and Elmbridge Borough Council in liaison with the Environment Agency and the emergency services .

To outline key risk areas, and how they are provided for.


As the event organiser the Molesey Regatta Committee is responsible for the organisation of the crews boating and rowing in the event, management of the crowds attending, and for ensuring they enjoy safe and smooth activities during the two days of the event.


This is the Event Management Plan. It is intended to complement existing plans and procedures in Surrey.  It provides a general outline of actions, roles and responsibilities.

This Plan has been put forward for agreement by the Elmbridge Safety Advisory Group, the Environment Agency and the Surrey Safety Advisory Group. All responding agencies will have their own incident management / emergency response plans.

The plan is restricted to the reach of the Thames from Aquarius Sailing Club to Hampton Church and the adjacent Surrey Bank, and the land area of Hurst Park between Sadlers Ride and Ferry Road in Molesey.

Connected Plans

This Plan has been produced with reference to EA and British Rowing Row-Safe guidelines. Other Surrey wide plans may also be active in the event of an incident. Specifically, these include:


The event is organized by a volunteer committee, and designated organisers (see Appendix 1). The committee meets several times a year as needed.


Regatta Control is established on site in the form of Race Control and Day Control. The core event management team is led by the Regatta Secretary. Individual responsibilities are set out in Appendix 1.

Each responsibility area of the regatta is coordinated by an individual, either a committee member or a designated organiser. Each of these areas is covered by a number of trained volunteers. There are no paid staff or employees, with the exception of bar staff. Land and river jobs are organized in the same way.

The responsibilities of Race Control and Day Control are to:

  • Race Control – coordinate racing activities on the river, always mindful of safety aspects,
  • Day Control – coordinate land activities and any overlap with racing, always mindful of safety aspects.
  • Provide guidance to regatta volunteers and organisers, when required.
  • Communicate and co-ordinate with other responding agencies/partners.
  • Respond to and manage incidents that occur before, during and after the regatta.
  • Manage the evacuation of the site, as safely as is reasonably practicable, in the event that evacuation is required.
  • Co-ordinate communications on the day to residents and businesses, including through social media.
  • Manage safely the arrival and departure of crews and spectators to and from the event.


Health and Safety

As there are no employees, the Act does not apply, however the health and safety of all competitors, workers and spectators at the event is a primary responsibility of the Regatta Committee. This plan sets a framework for effective organisation and stewarding to reduce the potential risk of disruption or injury to any of the participants.

The Committee of Molesey Regatta will not be negligible in its actions, and will take all steps necessary to ensure high standards of safety both on the river and on the land.

All the various tasks will be undertaken in accordance with best practice. Best practice requires that the principles of the current health and safety laws are applied as a minimum standard.

Following a detailed risk assessment of the river and the land activities, hazards that have been identified have been considered, and risk control measures have been put in place. It is the responsibility of the Molesey Regatta committee to ensure that these measures are followed. All staff and volunteers need to understand their own responsibilities and undertake their duties effectively to ensure safety of spectators and stewards.

The Regatta Committee has a responsibility to all participants to ‘take action as far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure their safety. Reasonably practicable means that the time, trouble, cost and physical difficulty of taking measures to avoid the risk are not wholly disproportionate to it.

Health and Safety at Work Act

The Act does not apply, but its principles do:

Section 2 of the Act requires that, as far as is reasonably practicable, volunteers have suitable experience and/or are trained for their duties, to protect themselves and the public

Section 3 places a duty of care on Regatta staff and volunteers to safeguard the public on the consequences of their undertaking.

Section 6 places a duty of care on all suppliers, so far as reasonably practicable, to ensure that all articles or substances are safe without risk to the public.

Section 7 requires Molesey Regatta (the organisers) to take reasonable care of themselves and others.

Risk Assessment

The Regatta has taken a risk-based approach to developing this Plan. It has identified the risks that could potentially impact on the event and has established whether they will be managed, tolerated, or removed.

The primary responsibility for the elimination of risk in the open spaces in the Borough lies with the Borough as the land owner. However, this responsibility is transferred to the Regatta for the duration of the event and its setting up and removal. The Regatta Project Team has identified key risks, and these will be reviewed regularly.

See Appendix 2 for water risk assessment and Appendix 3 for land risk.

Five steps have been taken to assess the risks involved with organising the event:

  1. The Regatta has identified the hazards associated with the event.
  2. The Regatta has identified those exposed to the hazards.
  3. The Regatta has evaluated the risks, taking into account existing precautions (this has indicated the level of residual risk).
  4. The Regatta has devised safe systems that have reduced the residual risks to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.
  5. The Regatta will implement safe systems of crowd management and control.



Molesey Regatta Committee, or its management groups, meets regularly in the planning of the regatta. It would be happy to consider any advice received from the Elmbridge Safety Advisory Group (SAG), British Rowing, the Thames Regional Rowing Council and the Environment Agency.

Crowd Management


The Molesey Regatta Committee does not at the moment see a huge increase in the size of crowds attending, however it is working to involve itself more with the community and is actively promoting itself and organizing attractions.

In river terms the racing is limited by the time constraints of starting at 8 a.m. and finishing at 7 p.m. and racing at a minimum of three-minute race intervals. Contestants can race in 8-person, 4-person, 2-person or 1-person boats.

It is difficult to see more than 1700 contestants racing over the two days, and many will go home after losing a race.

In land terms, whilst there may be an increase in people, the viewing area, which is the riverbank, is open and unrestricted, and could if necessary, as it did in the past, accommodate thousands of spectators without a problem.

The overall objectives:

  1. To review the anticipated crowd behaviour before, during and after racing.
  2. Review the crowd management techniques employed.
  3. Assess possible over-crowding locations.
  4. Make appropriate recommendations for implementation.

The ‘Review’ Assumptions

The crowd will be in attendance to watch the rowing events, and just to have a good time by the river. The following assumptions have been made about the spectator crowds.

It is anticipated to be predominately the families and supporters of participants, as well as local residents within say a ten-mile radius.

There is no evidence of racial or political tension locally and there is no intelligence at present to suggest that this will be an issue.

We expect the crowd to be well behaved.

A few people may arrive by train. The first trains arrive at Hampton Court from Waterloo (via Wimbledon and Surbiton) at 6.42 and 07.12. Trains leave Hampton Court at 6.24, and 6.54 and at the same minutes each hour.

Whilst much of the crowd will come by foot, a considerable number will come by car and use either the competitor parking area on the Hurst or the spectator parking area. Both offer a reasonable amount of expansion, but this needs to be monitored carefully. Each parking area has its own main road access, see Map.

Event details / timescales

Thursday and Friday are setup days.

On Saturday the first race could be at 8 a.m., depending on the draw. Racing will continue with breaks all day until about 7 p.m. After racing there will be food, drinking, a music performance and possibly fireworks. This will shut down at 11 p.m. and the site will be empty by 11.30 p.m.

On Sunday, it will be much the same pattern, though it could finish earlier, possibly at about 7 p.m. Monday is a clear away day.

Post event crowd assumptions

The spectator crowds will thin out towards the end of racing. Many picnickers though will stay on to enjoy the evening if it is nice weather. The evening music event will retain many and new people may come to listen.

A security officer will be in attendance over Saturday night, and will provide assistance as people leave.

Crowd number assumptions

Over the two days a maximum of 1000 race entrants are expected. On Saturday, 600 – 900 may attend. On Sunday, a similar number.

500 or so local residents may be in attendance on each day. The biggest concentration could be at the open air music event on the Saturday evening (cancelled in 2021) although by this time a number or race spectators will have left.

Effective stewarding is essential to the success of the event, although numbers expected are unlikely to demand a high level of stewarding.

All volunteer workers will be identified by a black and white rosette. These could be marked ‘committee’, ‘umpire’ or ‘staff’.

Responsibilities and Functions

Apart from their own jobs, one of the main responsibilities of volunteers is to report any incidents that they cannot deal with to Race Control or Day Control. All volunteer workers are experienced in regatta matters, no matter what their own direct job is.

Volunteers – Chain of Command, Control and Communication

Volunteers are managed in their roles either by a committee member or an organiser. Their initial point of reference is to that person. However, as the regatta site is quite extended, a volunteer may decide to refer directly to Race Control or the Secretary/Day Control.

Regatta communication equipment comprises VHF radios, a public address system, which reaches almost the whole site and personal mobile phones.

Day Control

The responsibilities of Day Control are to:

  • Direct volunteers to the areas required.
  • Wherever possible, safely deal with unruly behaviour, and report to the Police when needed.
  • Communicate major incidents through the chain of command.
  • Liaise with the Police for the safe management of the event.
  • Maintain a staff log of staff on duty and those leaving\ returning to the site.
  • Maintain a log of lost children\ lost property on site
  • Know the venue and facilities
  • Know the directions of exits
  • Know the location of car parks & public transport links
  • Know the location of medical facilities, toilets, etc
  • Monitor crowd density levels.
  • Understand the evacuation procedure.
  • Ensure regular clearance of litter on site into the bins provided.


All volunteers will be given access by means of the regatta website to:

  • A copy of this document.
  • A map of the open spaces and the river.
  • A job description.

Paper copies will also be available.

They will also be provided with

  • A rosette
  • A Hi-Vis waistcoat, if appropriate.

Organisers and committee members will be provided with VHF radios, or made aware of the nearest contact point (usually the Secretary or Race Control)


Committee members and organisers will brief the volunteers in their areas of responsibility.


Immediately after the event volunteers will be invited to make comments. This will be followed up with a ‘wash-up’ meeting within 3 weeks of the event. The results of this will be posted on the regatta website.


Car Parking

The Regatta will provide two free car parks – one for competitors with access from Sadlers Ride, the other for spectators with access from Ferry Road (withdrawn in 2021). Both entrances will have volunteers in attendance to welcome visitors. See Map.


9 toilet cabins and a disabled toilet will be provided. These will be kept clean regularly during the day and emptied at the beginning of the second day. Any queuing will be noted, and signs put up to indicate the alternative toilet.

Lost Children

Children and family parties may become lost or separated. Volunteers must attempt to locate lost children and attempt to reunite them. Where the children cannot be located in this way it must be reported to Day Control where a central log will be maintained. The child will be escorted to Day Control if the child hasnot been reunited immediately

River safety

In the event that any spectator enters the river, volunteers should attempt to recover the spectator. Water depth next to the bank and for some four feet out is only two feet. Should the spectator be further out than this and be apparently incapable, volunteers should dial 999 first, and then report to Day Control.

Temporary Structures

Any temporary structure (such as barriers, marquees, catering stalls etc) will be erected carefully and without danger of collapse or danger to the public and volunteers. They will be checked as ‘safe’ by the Regatta’s volunteer Safety Adviser.  

Current structures are one large marquee, a 5m pagoda, a finish platform and three landing stages on the river edge.

Emergency Procedures

In the event of an incident which requires emergency plans to be invoked, Day Control and Race Control will co-ordinate action using the public address system and the radios. Surrey Police are most likely to lead in the initial stages of an incident and will be called immediately.

The Elmbridge Borough Emergency Management Team will be on standby at the Civic Centre, working with the Event Management Team.

Evacuation Plan

Evacuation will always be a last resort and only undertaken when absolutely necessary. It is difficult to envisage the need for a full site evacuation in view of the fact that this large site is not enclosed and there is no impediment to people leaving, nor any constricted entrances.

It is more likely that the two marquees would need to be emptied of people in the event of lightning.

Medical / First Aid Provision

A paramedic unit with an ambulance will be in attendance and in possession of a radio. A defibrillator will be part of their equipment. On the water two rescue launches are on patrol in addition to five regatta launches, who are either marshalling or transporting umpires.

Emergency Service Vehicles Access to the Route

Emergency services are most likely to enter the site via the Ferry Road entrance.

Appendix 1 – List of Key Personnel

This is the current organisation, some allocations may change nearer to the event.

On the ground

BOATING AREA Peter Hartman
UMPIRING Andrew Ruddle
Co-ordination: Ted Bates
PUBLICITY Fe Wood/Alex Fenn
SHOPS None planned
CATERING Anne O’Connor
FRIENDS Rob Nesbitt

Committee and Organisers

Andrew Ruddle Race Control/Umpiring
Ben Pugh Launches & drivers
Lisa Glasspool Junior Liaison
David Porteus President
Fe Wood Promotion/PR/Entertainmen
Oli Knight Ex officio MBC Captain
Rob Nesbitt Friends
Mark Stollery Umpire Supprt
Malcolm Hutton Course
Anne O’Connor Refreshments & Teas
Patrick Sinnott Safety Adviser
Robert Nesbitt Treasurer
Steve Matley Launches & drivers
Ted Bates Secretary/Co-ordinator
Fe Wood Welfare Officer
Alex Fenn Public Relations  
Alison Frost Information
John Sheldon Signs
Mike Watts Results
Peter Hartman Rafts
Britt Bates Shops
Dick Kruger Commentary


  1. A Para-Medic post is situated outside the south east corner of Race Control.
  2. A Safety Launch is patrolling on the river. These two are in radio communication.
  3. Surrey police have been notified and are running extra patrols.
  4. An MAR launch is working at the start.
  5. An MAR launch is available at the finish.
  6. Regatta radios are in use at the start and finish and in the start launch, and a public address system reaches the crew area and the enclosure.
  7. An emergency phone is carried by the Secretary.
  • Fresh water is available in the Bar/Teas tent.
  •  In the event of an accident, the safety boat should be called and its crew will assess what further action is needed. The race controller situated at the finish will decide what action to take with regard to the racing.

12. Boat Circulation – Crews GOING to the Start should boat from the UPSTREAM boat raft, give way to crews returning from the Finish, keep to the Middlesex side of Thorneycroft Island and proceed well above the start before turning and waiting for the Start Marshall’s orders. RETURNING crews should proceed well beyond the Finish, turn opposite Hampton Church and come in against the stream to use the DOWNSTREAM raft.

13  A security officer is in attendance from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.


Molesey Amateur Regatta Risk assessment July 2015 by Mike Gardiner, reviewed December 2017 & April 2024 by Ted Bates.
General water safety
All boat movements on the water are covered by the British Rowing “Row Safe” guide. The guide applies to all participants, who are responsible for self-policing the standards set out in “Row Safe”. Coaches, marshals, umpires and all regatta officials should apply the code. All involved in the Regatta have a duty of care to other river users.   Failure to comply with any part of that code in relation to equipment or behaviour will lead to the crew or participants not being able to go afloat and/or race.
  At the Saturday regatta, two safety launches patrol the course and there are marshalling launches at the start and elsewhere. Races are followed by Umpires in launches with a driver, who can either summon assistance from the safety launches or provide assistance themselves if necessary. All the above launches are in radio contact with regatta officials.   At the Sunday regatta, with a shortened course, there is a safety launch to patrol the course, and there are marshalling launches at the start and elsewhere. Races are bank Umpired. All launches and Umpires are in radio contact with regatta officials
Specific risk assessment
Hazard Potential outcome Likelihood Measure to reduce risk Overall risk
Landing stages
      Raft marshals instructed  
      to minimise time crew  
Trip hazard due to items being left on Injury to rowers and/or damage to   Moderate equipment is left on staging.   Low
the landing stages Boats   Incoming and outgoing  
      stages are segregated  
Prior to race start
      Reliance on competency  
      of crews & coaches, and  
      compliance with “Row  
      Safe” and the navigation  
      rules applicable to the  
    Moderate Thames.  
      Circulation patterns  
      advised to crews prior to  
      the event, non-  
Collision with other boats on way to start or in marshalling area   Injury to rowers and/or damage to boats   compliance may lead to race penalties being applied. Potential hazard behind Thorneycroft Island due to two way     Low
      working clearly  
      Liaison with Hampton  
      Sailing club to be in  
      place well before race  
      day to segregate their  
      boats from Regatta  
During the race
      All racing is carried  
      out under BRITISH  
      ROWING Rules of  
      Racing and in  
      compliance with “Row  
      Bank marshals or  
      Umpires (Sunday)  
  Incidents involving other racing crews Injury to rowers and/or damage to boats   Low along the course will advise boats to move as necessary if there is a safety issue.   Low
      No warm up on the  
      course. All  
      competitors are  
      advised and must  
      meet the circulation  
      pattern. St John’s  
      Ambulance available.  
          Capsize         Potential drowning, injury or hypothermia           Medium Umpires & marshals along the course can summon safety boats. Umpires have instructions to control an incident until safety boat arrives. See also “Row Safe” & Coach education programme. St John’s Ambulance available.           Low
      Environment Agency  
      informed of the  
      Regatta and  
      agreement obtained  
    Low to close the navigation channel on the Surrey side of   Low
      Thorneycroft Island.  
      Navigation channel  
  Incidents involving other vessels Injury to persons or damage to vessels and equipment   closure advised to masters of other vessels by means of warning notices.  
      Arrangements of Junior Racing to take account of extent of non-regatta traffic if Low subject to careful attention to marshalling
      weather is nice  
      Additional marshal  
      launches to be  
Weather risks
                      Strong stream                     Crews unable to control boats                       Moderate Risk will be known of in advance and safety adviser will assess the situation in advance. The safety adviser should take account of advice from the EA, and in particular whether red or yellow boards are shown.   The Race Committee may postpone or cancel racing or categories of races if the conditions are deemed unsafe. Racing may be curtailed if red or yellow boards are shown.                       low
      Race Committee to  
      apply 30 second / 10  
      minute rule. When  
      gap between visible  
      lightning and thunder  
      is 30 seconds or less,  
      racing to be stopped,  
      water to be cleared.  
      All tents are to be  
      evacuated, and all  
    Low spectators to be  
      advised to get into  
      vehicles, to close  
      doors and windows.  
  Thunderstorm or other storm Damage to equipment and structures. Fatal risk from lightning   Action should be taken to minimise the risk of lightning strikes (e.g. on oars held vertically)     Low
      Start area personnel  
      to be advised to leave  
      vehicle near start area  
      for shelter in case of  
        All clear when  
      lightning gap /  
      thunder exceeds 30  
      seconds for 10  
      High Winds   Severe injury, death or damage to equipment and structures       Low   The Race Committee may postpone or cancel racing or categories of races if the conditions are deemed unsafe.       Low
Major incident
  Bomb, terrorist or other war action   Deaths, injuries and severe damage     Low Police notified and all further instructions will be issued from Surrey Police     Low
        Fire       Deaths, injuries and severe damage         Low   Tented areas to evacuate and wait instructions from Fire Service.   Fire Service to control incidents once on site.         Low
Vehicle and cycle movements
    Fall hazard while unloading boats     Injury to rowers and/or damage to boats       Low Reliance on competency of crews. The BRITISH ROWING provides guidelines on trailers and towing.     Low/ Moderate
  Collision hazard due to trailers, boats and cars and cycles   Injury to rowers, spectators and/or damage to boats and vehicles       Moderate Vehicles only allowed to access car and trailer parks and not the course       Low
    Fall hazard while unloading boats     Injury to rowers and/or damage to boats       Low Reliance on competency of crews. The BRITISH ROWING provides guidelines on trailers and towing.     Low/ Moderate
Illness and other medical conditions
    Illness and other medical conditions of rowers and spectators   Illness or other medical conditions (eg asthma, epilepsy) may require immediate assistance         Moderate Provide St John’s Ambulance cover at enclosure. Ensure that there are landing points for casualties marked on Regatta course map/location plan         Low


Hazard Potential outcome Likelihood Measure to reduce risk Overall risk
Hygiene   Food preparation     Drink handling         Hot water     Hose pipes       Sickness     Sickness         Scalding     Water contamination     Low     Low         Moderate     Low           Workers properly instructed and equipped. Refrigeration overnight.   Dispensing equipment kept clean. All drinks will be in date. Only plastic or recyclable cups and glasses will be used.   Provide secure base and area for electric or gas water urns.   Ensure that all temporary hosepipes and fittings are thoroughly flushed through before use.     Low         Low                  
Electricity Electric shock Low Overground cables will be armoured and protected by an ECB. Internal cables will be securely attached and taken above any entrances. Low
Waste   Site litter Moderate Waste containers and bags will be provided. Waste and litter will be collected at two hourly intervals. A skip will be provided as a central waste point. Moderate
Structure   Bruising and tripping Low Ensure that all marquee fittings and pegs do not present a hazard. Ensure that any extra materials and tools are stored in a safe place. Moderate
Lightning See water risk assessment      
Toilets Illness Low Ensure that the toilets are kept clean, charged with paper and kept operational by access to a call out service. Low
Traffic Personal accident Low Ensure that all drivers over grass restrict their speed to 5 mph and are made aware that the grassed areas of the regatta site are shared with pedestrians. Mark out parking areas and ensure that there is no blocking of temporary roadways. Low
Theft Loss of cash or materials Moderate Ensure that all cash and materials are kept safe, either in a safe or in locked trailers. Moderate  
The river Discomfort or drowning Low Ensure that the river bank is under surveillance by all volunteers. Only attempt rescue if it is safe to do so, in preference call 999. After dark, make sure that the security officer regularly checks the river bank. Low



Map 1 – positioning of marquees

Map 2

Overall regatta layout. (see pdf sent separately)