Umpire Launches
Umpire Launch

This picture shows one of the launches preparing to take a race at one of the first regattas staged at Dorney Lake.

For over ten years Marlow Regatta has owned two umpire’s launches which are available for hire by other Regattas.

They were built privately and are based upon catamaran sailing boat hulls, which create little wash. This design of boat also gives the advantage of providing a stable platform for the Umpire to work from when following races. Each boat has its own trailer for transport, launching and recovery.

Both boats have speed exemption certificates and may be used on waters controlled by either the Environment Agency or Port of London Authority. They are licensed to travel in excess of the normal speed limits when following crews, with two persons on board; driver and Umpire.

Marlow Regatta employs professional watermen from 3D Marine (see to transport the boats and drive them. These watermen, as well as being extremely experienced, are qualified to a minimum of RYA level 2. Operating in this way, the boats have maintained a high standard of reliability. Both boats and engines are serviced on a regular basis. They are not used for day-to day coaching.

The boats are currently in operation at about ten events in the Thames Valley each year, and there is usually a certain amount of “competition” amongst umpire’s to be allocated one, since they are, apart from the Henley Hobbs’ launches, probably the most comfortable boats on the circuit.

Whilst using professional watermen as drivers, makes them perhaps expensive in Treasurers’ eyes, the reliability and lack of need to find volunteers to drive local Club launches, makes them popular with regatta organisers.

If you would like to find out further details please contact or ring 01628 525977.