2 towns, 6 races, 25 rafts & 1,000 flour bombs – one river of joy

Ouseday: Sun July 1 2018

REGATTA returns to the River Ouse on Sunday July 9, an armada of daft rafts, racing kayaks, singing pirates, hornblowing boats and battling bonfire dragons ablaze with fireworks and caked in flour bombs. And new for this year, a thrilling rowing race pitching Lewes versus Newhaven.
Ahoy a dishabill of joy, named OUSEDAY!
This is our third regatta, built around the famous Lewes to Newhaven Round Table Raft Race. And this year we have exciting events in both towns, sharing in celebration of the river that created our two communities and remains our beating heart. From Malling Rec in Lewes to Huggets Green in Newhaven, we invite you all to throw your worries overboard, pull up a picnic and join the fun, free of charge. Money raised goes to local charities and good causes. All you need to know about Ouseday is on this website. Enter the 42nd raft race if you dare – the 2017 theme is Britannia Rules The Waves – or at least Regatta. As the pirate sang: One Ouseday like this a year will see me right!

Ouse the Daddy

After an incredibly hard fought race the Lewes boat Betty and her crew edged the race against the Newhaven gig Amelie by a matter of just a few inches. Betty cox (and boat builder) Ben Fowler said: “That truly was the toughest, most superb and closely fought race in...

Raft Race Results 2017

24 rafts made it all the way. Well done to all involved a truly great day! Position Raft # Organisation Raft name Start Southease Finish TotalTime 1 2 UTC Harbourside TBC 14:20 15:18 15:52 1:32 2 4 BLB Surveyors HMS  Sinksalot   14:20 15:26 16:12 1:52 3 1 Ringmer...

Poem: Ode to the Raft Race

Ode to the Raft Race (Newhaven Regatta) Shining rafts laden On the Ouse at Newhaven Our Regatta has begun What fun! The wind set fair Oars in the air   All gathered on the river for the race.   Spectators throng and cheer “Come on; they’re here” But on the...

Newhaven Mayor Flies the Flag!

Newhaven Mayor, June Dyer herself will be taking part in the Lewes to Newhaven Raft Race! She will be flying the Union Jack, for the theme Britannia Rules Regatta. Once she has completed the long row to Newhaven, along with her motley crew, she will be presenting the...

Ouseday 2017 program now available

You an get the Ouseday 2017 programme from the Tourist office at top of high street or Okley Property at bottom of high street – packed with info, pictures and everything you need to know to enjoy the day, including complete guide to 36 rafts and details about new...

Ouse the Daddy boat race thriller

A THRILLING rowing race will pitch Lewes versus Newhaven in our new Ouseday highlight. Crews in two 30ft long wooden boats will compete over an seven-mile course in a new annual challenge named Ouse the Daddy. On the day you will be able to cheer from the riverbank or...

RECORD 37 rafts are entered in the annual Lewes to Newhaven raft race

A RECORD 37 rafts are entered in the annual Lewes to Newhaven raft race, which will be the central event in Ouseday regatta at Lewes on Sunday July 9, 2017. It is the 42nd annual raft race, where crews in costume paddle seven miles down river against a hail of flour...


IT was 40 years in the making, takes 12 months to plan and 12 hours to set up and dismantle. It involves dozens of volunteers, hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators. And it is all over in four frantic hours. Ouse day is literally one tide of joy. One...


HEAR YE: Record 183 requests for raft race entry forms, an whole kilometre of rafts laid end to end. Table chairman Liam says: “I’m flabbergasted, and there is still a week to deadline.” ARMADA: Full...


THANKS to you, our wonderful Ouseday supporters, cheques for £2,000 have been presented to the two main charities chosen for 2017. Round Table chairman Liam Jackson was delighted to present giant-sized cheques to Sarah Jarvis from Home Start East Sussex, which supports young families, and to Roger Ross, Loran Simon and Gavin Burke from A Band of Brothers (Abob) which mentors young men in crisis. Abob youngsters entered their own raft and mentors volunteered to help as marshals on the day. Organiser Gavin later thanked everyone in Ouseday. Speaking at the start of 2018, he said:  “A Band of Brothers is going from strength to strength with a Lewes group in the process of creation. The young men totally LOVED the experience with a couple saying that it was the best experience of their lives. Many said they would like to do it again in 2018. The funds will contribute to supporting the next wave of young men through their mentorship.” At Home Start, East Sussex chief executive Kate Lawrence said: “Thank you to all those who donated.  The donation has helped us to continue to deliver our two services – volunteer home-visiting to struggling families and reflective courses for women who have experienced domestic abuse. ” The charity, based in Newhaven, is currently looking for new premises. Many other charities benefited from sponsorship of the 28 individual rafts, including: Rockinghorse Appeal for Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton, RNLI, Ms Society, Martlets Hospice, Barnabas Hospice, Gaia Gallery environment project, DEBRA and Hospice in the Weald, Newhaven Mayor’s Charities, Lewes Action for Refugees, Cancer Research, and Bela Swan Colins, a 12 year old girl diagnosed with secondary lung cancer. Funds from the food fair at Malling helped fund the restoration of the traditional skiff Betty, which beat gig Amelie in the seven mile rowing race to the sea. Organisers have not yet chosen a main charity to benefit from Ouseday 2018 – watch this space.



RAFT RACE has raised £500,000 for local charities in the past 42 years. In 2017 the focus was on helping young people in need, providing support at critical moments and preventing short-term challenges becoming long-term disasters for individuals and society.

Find out more about Home Start at www.hses.org.uk or become a Friend by contacting Kate, phone 01273 612025 or email info@hses.org.uk.

A Band of Brothers –  details at: http://abandofbrothers.org.uk


OUSEDAY is fun for all, free of charge thanks to the generosity of local firms who pay costs for essential items such as insurance, communications and vital safety equipment. Our main sponsor for 2017 is Oakley Property where chairman Chris Oakley says: “We were blown away by last year’s regatta and this is a great opportunity for Oakley to give something back to the community.”
Oakley: Giving Back

Also supporting us are Lawson Lewis Blakers Ltd solicitors, Veolia and Brewers Decorators. Thank you all.

Enter canoe race

14 + 13 =

Application details

: Sunday 9th July 2017 – Starts approx 1.45pm(subject to tide)
Where: Races starts from bank by Phoenix Causeway on far side
How: Bring canoe or borrow ours (limited no.)  – YOU MUST register advance
Why: To have fun and help a good cause
Theme: Brittania Rules the waves? 

Application Entry deadline: Send email inquiry asap