The Downing Eliminator

The Downing Eliminator is an indoor rowing competition for all students across Cambridge being held from 1st– 3rd February 2018. It gives both men and women the opportunity to show off their physical and mental ability as well as their race tactics and gives each rower the potential to walk away as an individual rowing champion,  a member of a Victorious VIII, or both. Once and for all we can decide who is the fastest!

The Downing Eliminator will be returning in 2019. View the 2018 results here and the Gallery here.


Like us on Facebook



Registration for each race will occur 30 minutes before the race is scheduled to run. It is crucial that every competitor arrives in time for this to ensure there are no delays.

At registration all competitors will be required to provide proof of identity (college cards will be accepted). After ID has been accepted, there will also be an opportunity for a weigh-in for any of those who wish to enter as a Lightweight (max. 75 kg men, 61.5 kg women). This is only compulsory for those who wish to compete in the lightweight category and will be required at registration before EVERY race that they take part in.


The 8 competitors from each race will be given 8 minutes on an erg to warm up beforehand. This will start 20 minutes before the race time to allow 12 minutes for stretching and for competitors to make their way to the stage.


Every race will be held on the stage in the Howard Theatre of Downing College.

The first 30 seconds will be additional warm-up time and time to get the fan moving (nothing from this will count in the race).

From then onward, the race begins. After each 30 seconds, the rower in last place is ELIMINATED.

All distances travelled in the previous 30 seconds are reset and the next elimination begins… Instantaneously.

Format of the Competition

The competition is based on the success of individuals in each race. However, if a college enters 8 or more competitors from the men’s squad and/or 8 or more competitors from the women’s squad then the top 8 most successful competitors in each case (determined using points scored for making it to each stage) will enter the inter-collegiate competition and have the chance to win team medals.

Preliminary Rounds

The Preliminary Rounds involve a standard 8 person elimination race where the winners and some of the fastest runners up progress to the Qualifiers.


The Qualifiers involve the incorporation of some seeded competitors and those progressing from the preliminary rounds in 8 person elimination races. The winners of each race progress and the fastest runners up compete in a play-off for the final spots in the Groups.

Group Stage

The competitors are integrated with the final few top seeds and sorted into groups of 12. Each group will have 3 elimination races where each competitor competes in 2, being awarded points for their position in each race. The points from the 2 races are summed and the top 4 highest scoring from each group will make it to the Semi-Finals.

The points system used for each Group Stage race is:

1st – 14 points

2nd – 10 points

3rd – 8 points

4th – 5 points

5th – 4 points

6th – 3 points

7th – 2 points

8th – 1 point

Semi Finals

The Semi-Finals will consist of 4 elimination races of 8 competitors. The top 2 in each will progress to the Final.


The Final will be a standard 8 person elimination race where the winner takes all!

Points System

The College competition will use the following points system to determine the Winning VIII (if you enter more than 8 rowers from either the men’s or women’s squads then your top 8 will become your College VIII for the competition):

  • Competing in Qualifiers – 1 point
  • Competing in Group Stages – 2 points
  • Winning a Group Stage race – 1 point
  • Competing in Semi Finals – 4 points
  • Winning a Semi Final race – 1 point

Position in Final:

1st – 10 points

2nd – 9 points

3rd – 8 points

4th – 7 points

5th – 6 points

6th – 5 points

7th – 4 points

8th – 3 points

Ties for number of points between competitors of the same college will be resolved by first considering lightweight or not (with preference going to lightweights). Remaining ties will then be resolved using the average distance covered per race.

Ties between colleges with the same number of total points from their top VIII will be resolved using the average distance covered per race of their top VIII.

Penalty Points will be deducted from a college for any of their competitors for the following:

  • Late to registration – 1 point deducted
  • Failure to turn up to a race – 3 points deducted

Additionally, competitors who are believed to be lying about their 2k time from their entry form may be penalised.


Women’s Preliminary rounds and Qualifiers will be held on Thursday 1st February 2018 4pm-10pm.

Men’s Preliminary rounds and Qualifiers will be held on Friday 2nd February 2018 4pm-10pm.

Group stages, Semi-Finals and Finals will be held on Saturday 3rd February 2018 1:30pm-10pm.

Alumni competition will be held on Sunday 4th February 2018 1pm-7pm (Alumni will be split into two categories: Veterans – under the age of 40 and Masters – 40 and over).

Details of individual’s times in the preliminary rounds and seeding will be released close to the event.

Details of progression to further rounds and corresponding race times will be released as soon as they are worked out on the day and published on our Facebook event page:


Entries are for individuals and will cost £8 (£15 for Alumni). If you wish to enter into the collegiate competition then make sure to enter at least 8 people from your college of the same gender.

Enter before 1st December 2017 to get a free T-shirt! Additionally, any college who enters 20 or more competitors (excluding Alumni) will receive a free hour session on the Cambridge Rowing Tank (CRT).

Entering will be done as a college by entering the number of men / women / alumni you wish to compete (details of individuals will only be required much closer to the event).

Details about each individual including name, gender, student / alumni status and an estimate of a current 2K erg performance (being inaccurate will hinder your competition as points may be deducted) will be asked for via email to your college contact (email address entered for the college when applying). (You need not worry about a lightweight category, this will be determined at the competition using optional weigh-ins).

**Entries are currently closed**

Payment will be calculated for each college before the event and sent to your college contact.


Here is the link for the draw for this year:

Races will take place 5-8pm on Thursday 1st (women) and Friday 2nd (men) February (with both finals occurring last thing on Friday).


The results from the 2018 competition are found here:

Prizes will be awarded for:

  • Men’s College VIII Winners
  • Women’s College VIII Winners
  • Men’s Individual Winner
  • Women’s Individual Winner
  • Men’s Individual Lightweight
  • Women’s Individual Lightweight


First-aiders will be present for the whole event to assist with any incidents that may occur. To avoid unnecessary injuries, we recommend that people with a pre-existing medical condition that might be affected by participation in the competition do not enter. Additionally, all those who do enter are given the opportunity to, and have a responsibility to, warm up properly before each race.

Our Sponsors

The Downing Eliminator is proudly sponsored by:


Cambridge Meridian Solutions Ltd.

Additionally, we are associated with the Invictus Games.


If you have any questions/concerns about the event, please visit our Facebook page,, or email us at

Downing Eliminator © 2017 Downing College Boat Club