Sporting events return to Swanage as Covid rules ease

After a year’s absence, Swanage Coastal Rowing Regatta and the Swanage Triathlon are back on for 2021.

In a weekend of competitive action, the regatta takes place on Saturday 3rd July 2021, with the triathlon on the following Sunday.


The Swanage Regatta will see rowers from Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight race against each other in Swanage Bay. It’s organised by the Hants and Dorset Amateur Rowing Association, which was founded in 1903.

Coastal rowing regatta in Swanage 2018
Hants & Dorset ARA

The Swanage Regatta in 2018

“Swanage is one of our favourite regattas!”

Usually there’s a packed schedule throughout the year but many regattas have had to be cancelled. Sue Sothcott, who’s part of the team organising the event said:

“Swanage Regatta normally has the biggest entry but this year there’s only nine clubs. However we’re so pleased to be able to race again and it’s better to back in a scaled back way, rather than not at all.

“We just love rowing in Swanage Bay – it’s really one of our favourite regattas!”

There will be 24 races and it takes place from Swanage’s Main Beach near The Mowlem. The stretch of Shore Road that is normally closed during the summer, will be temporarily reopened to allow the launch of the boats.

Although there will be safety boats, anyone planning a swim in the sea is being advised to be aware of the regatta, which will start from 11 am.

Swimmers at the Swanage Triathlon
Challenging Events

Swimmers head out into the sea as part of the Swanage Triathlon, pre-Covid

The Swanage Triathlon

The Swanage Triathlon, which was cancelled last year, will take place on the day after the regatta, on Sunday 4th July 2021.

The main hub of the action will be at Sandpit Field near Shore Road. There are a number of different races but the standard distance triathlon is a 1500m swim in the bay, a 38k bike ride out towards Corfe Castle and a 10k run up on Ballard Down. The organisers say the routes are challenging but the views are worth it.

Cyclists at the Swanage Triathlon
Challenging Events

Uphill towards Corfe Castle on the bike route

“We’re delighted to be back in Swanage – it’s our 34th year!”

Kelly Wickens, director of Challenging Events, the company that organises the Swanage Triathlon said:

“Last year we felt we had to cancel, as the lockdown restrictions had just been lifted and although we could have gone ahead, we felt it was just too soon and it wouldn’t have been fair. This year, we’re delighted to be back in Swanage – it’s our 34th year!

“We’ve lowered the numbers and changed the format, with people more spread out to allow for social distancing. For instance, there’ll be no group running into the sea but we don’t think it will detract from the fun.

“Everyone is just so pleased to have the chance to get out into the fresh air and do what they love. We really enjoy coming to Swanage and always do our best to support the local economy.”

The first race starts at 6 am with the standard triathlon starting at 7.30 am. Some of the events are expected to continue until 2 pm.

Runners at the Swanage Triathlon
Challenging Events

The standard triathlon finishes with a 10k run

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