[CUCBC Captains] Reminder: Robinson Head 2016 - Entries are Open

Hugh Burton hb407 at cam.ac.uk
Sun Jan 31 14:02:51 GMT 2016

Dear All,

(Captains - please forward to / discuss with your coaches)

There have been several instances in the last week or so where college 
crews heading downstream shortly after lighting down have made some very 
poor overtakes - some without consequence, some causing obstruction to 
oncoming crews and at least one resulting in damage to a boat.

I'd like to remind you of the following points:

1) The river is NOT a one-way system in the morning - town crews (both 
VIIIs and small boats) may be paddling upstream back to their boathouses.
2) In order to overtake another crew, you MUST be able to see enough of 
the river to move to the other side, row past and get back to your side, 
all the time being CERTAIN that you will not obstruct any oncoming boats.
3) The bankparty has a different point of view to the cox of a boat - 
working together you can identify safe overtakes in some places where 
the cox alone cannot.
4) Coxes - before you move out to overtake, ask yourself whether you 
would have time to complete the manouevre if an VIII appeared in the 
distance, coming towards you at a normal speed for that part of the 
river (e.g. paddling along Riverside, race pace in Plough Reach). Do you 
have time to complete your overtake? Can your coach see more and help 
you out? Can you safely overtake?
5) If another crew asks to 'come by', please don't deny them purely for 
the sake of ego. If there's a queue ahead, or if you can see something 
oncoming that they can't, or you think it's not a safe choice for some 
other reason, by all means respond in the negative.

I well understand the desire to overtake a slower boat and get some 
clear water to work at your own pace. However, in order to avoid further 
clashes/damage, and to optimise traffic flow on the river, please ensure 
that you are not taking chances and hoping that nothing is coming the 
other way. Likewise, please cooperate when a faster crew is behind you - 
don't hog the middle of the river and give a clear acknowledgement when 
they ask to 'come by'.

Coxes - if your coach tells you to go past another crew, and you're not 
sure, it's OK to hang back and choose not to pass. You might miss out on 
a bit of clear water, but you can talk about it with your coach later 
and make a more informed decision next time.

Coaches - talk to your coxes about overtaking, especially those with 
less experience. Explain that on the approach to some corners you can 
see further down the river than they can, and what clear instructions 
you'll give as and when you think an overtake is safe and necessary.


Mark Jacobs
CUCBC Safety Advisor

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