Women's Eight Head of the River Race

Safety Message for All Competitors

K Mahony - WEHoRR Safety Advisor

As safety is such an important issue, will the Club Captain and Safety Advisor please ensure ALL OF THOSE TAKING PART are aware of the following.

Responsibility for making this a safe event rests with each one of you taking part. The organisers have done their very best to provide a safe rowing environment but every competitor has a duty of care to themselves and all other competitors. Safety is a shared responsibility.

To play your part to the full, you must make sure that you:-

  • Have a safe boat and equipment, checked out before the day, with a final check prior to going on the water Buoyancy and heel restraints are particularly important issues. If you have travelled to the event, make sure your boat is securely assembled.
  • Wear appropriate clothing on a day that may be cold, windy or wet, where you will be on the water for a long time with periods of little physical activity
  • Are part of a competent crew that is able to quickly and effectively respond to the commands of the cox and if required, the directions of a race Marshall.
  • Have a cox who is genuinely competent for the event, taking account of the racing environment and water conditions on the Tideway.
  • Have a cox who is sufficiently familiar with the course and all the potential hazards along the way, from the point of getting into the boat, right up until you get out of it.
  • Have a cox who fully understands the marshalling system, your place in it and the restrictions on crossing the river during the event.
  • Have a cox who understands the safest course to take during the race and sticks to it.
  • Are able to hear the commands given by your cox, ideally on a speaker system.
  • Know what to do in the event of an emergency so that vital seconds are not wasted if there is an incident involving your crew. Help is at hand but you may have to look after yourself or an injured crew member for a short while before it arrives.
  • Do not behave aggressively towards other crews at any time, particularly during overtaking situations when your crew must comply with the rules of the event.
  • Do not switch off after you finish and remain alert during the return from Putney as this can be a high-risk time if boats are still racing.

Rowing is a relatively safe sport. Keep it that way by leaving nothing to chance.

Message from the Chief Umpire

Safety is paramount in any event but particularly on the tideway which is wide and fast-flowing. Crews are often unaware how quickly they can get into difficulty. However, there is always a feeling of “it couldn’t happen to me;” believe me it can.

The organising committee take every possible precaution to ensure the safety of all competitors. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that your boat is safe to train and compete in. Please remember to check any boat you row in, including borrowed boats.

Control Commission will be implemented at all main boating areas prior to the race.  Please ensure that your boat complies with the safety rules as you will not be allowed to boat until any identified fault is rectified.

Crew Competence – If a Club enters a crew which is deemed not to be sufficiently competent to race, the committee reserve the right to withdraw the crew from the race for their safety.

Please make sure that your boat complies with the rules for your safety and I hope all crews have an enjoyable race. Good luck!

Fiona Dennis
Chief Umpire