[CUCBC Coxes] Dealing with stream

Mark Jacobs mark at cucbc.org
Thu May 3 22:03:10 BST 2012

Dear All,

As you cannot have failed to notice, the stream on the Cam is moving 
faster than usual (i.e. faster than most glaciers). While we're not 
quite at Tideway stream levels, there are a few points that need a 
little more thought than usual during outings.

1) Boating
Crews boating downstream (i.e. in the usual direction) will find 
themselves pushed back into the bank, risking serious damage to the 
underside of boats where the river has risen above the bank level. 
Unless you want to bend your fins and rudders on the hard, you would be 
well advised to boat upstream (towards Jesus lock), and spin where the 
river is wide enough to do so. By 'the river' I mean the bit between the 
banks - please take care over judging width where the banks are no 
longer visible. It is certainly safe to spin down at Jesus Lock, though 
most places outside the boathouses are tight but manageable. If in 
doubt, row on. When parking, it will be much easier and safer to park in 
the normal direction.

2) Spinning
As you spin, the boat will be pushed further downstream than normal. 
There is no need to spin close to the lock - please give yourselves 
plenty of space. I would recommend spinning upstream of the large signs 
saying 'rowers spin here'. Any boats spinning close to the lock risk 
hitting the buoys or, in extreme cases, being pushed over the 
weir/capsizing. This is not speculation - in the last year a town 
sculler was pushed over the weir and was lucky to escape serious injury.

3) General Manoeuvring
Be aware that any boats around you that are pushing off / spinning etc. 
will drift further than usual. Please give plenty of space when easying 
near such crews.

4) Outings towards Bottisham Lock
We have been advised by the Cam Conservancy that the landing stage 
downstream of Baitsbite Lock is submerged and expected to remain so for 
the next few days. They have requested that crews do not attempt to boat 
over the lock until the landing stage is accessible.

5) Flag
We expect the flag to stay yellow for the next few days, based on 
information from the Conservancy. We do not intend to prevent lower 
boats from racing this weekend, though the final responsibility will 
rest with the organisers. If the race goes ahead, please make sure that 
all lower boat crews are aware of the contents of this email, as 
marshalling will be more challenging than usual.

I hope that over the next few days we can all be sensible in dealing 
with the stream. As ever, if you would like clarification or further 
advice, please contact me.


Mark Jacobs
CUCBC Safety Advisor

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