This past weekend saw rowing teams from around the country head to East London to take part in the 2018 RMB Buffalo Regatta – and CN&CO was there. We are proud to partner Rand Merchant Bank in its rowing sponsorship activities.

This regatta is special for a number of reasons:

  • It’s hosted by the East London Boat Association on the Buffalo River, a few kilometres away from the river mouth. This means that the athletes not only face weather conditions like wind and rain, but also tides
  • The Buffalo Regatta is one of the oldest South African events still running year on year. The Buffalo Regatta began in 1881. You realise the history this regatta holds when you walk into the club house and look at the names of all the winners on the board over the past 137 years! But what really stood out for me is the red wording that says World War 1 and World War 2 NO REGATTA. Suddenly the history and significance of this regatta became very real for me
  • The Buffalo Regatta is famous for the size of its trophies. You have to see it to believe it. The two big races are the Grand Challenge and the Silver Sculls. Both these races were won by the RMB National Squad

The weekend was filled with excitement and great rowing. The weather, on the other hand, was all over the place, with perfect conditions in the mornings and then crazy head winds in the afternoons.

I was reminded of a quote by RMB CEO James Formby, who says everyone in the race is facing the same conditions. All the boats are in same the winds, water conditions, etc. His advice – in rowing and in business – is to focus on the boat. In other words, focus on the things you can control. This thinking gave rise to the popular catch-phrase Thinking.Pulling.Together – and that’s exactly what the rowers did at the Buffalo Regatta, especially those in the RMB National Squad.

The RMB Buffalo Regatta is one of the big South African regattas for the RMB National Squad. It’s the team’s first regatta after their training camp in Lesotho.

The hard work and dedication is paying off, with the RMB National Squad walking away with Silver Scull – 1st place, Coxless 4 – 1st and 2nd place, Men’s Pair – 1ST place, Men’s 8 – 1st place.

In July 2017 RMB announced the official sponsorship of the rowing National Squad, now known as the RMB National Squad. The sponsorship includes naming rights to four regattas, of which the RMB Buffalo Regatta is one.

“We are delighted and extremely proud of the RMB National Squad’s performance at this year’s RMB Buffalo Regatta,” says RMB’s Lucy Ligthfoot. “The results show that our investment in the squad, and in rowing in general, are starting to bear fruit. We have high expectations for the squad over the next couple of years as they prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

Click here to see all the results of the RMB Buffalo Regatta.

RMB has made all the professional photographs from the event available for free. You can download them here.

Here’s a great interview with Vaughn Botes winner of the Silver Scull 2018 by Backsplash Magazine.