[CUCBC Coxes] Dangerous and inconsiderate coxing

Tom Grimble tom at cucbc.org
Thu Nov 22 11:33:33 GMT 2012

Some people have taken some of my email to be a contradiction to *Rule 19:
That all boats (whether going upstream or downstream, and whether rowing or
paddling) give way to CUWBC, CULRC, CUBC crews and Trial Eights, subject to
rule 20<http://www.cucbc.org/handbook/rules/rights_of_way#rules_rights_wrongside>and
general navigation law.
* This was not intended.

This has apparently convinced some colleges that they can deliberately
impede university crews. This is not the case!

*If you are rowing or paddling and it is safe to do so all college crews
should take every effort to allow a University crew to overtake.* This
applies to any time you are being followed by a faster crew, if you are
holding them up it is your responsibiltiy to let them by when it is safe.

*Rule 23: That a slower boat being overtaken must give way (pulling in if
necessary) to allow a faster boat to pass.*

*If someone asks to overtake and it is safe just stop for a few strokes*,
let them get round you easily and then continue paddling. It costs you 10
seconds and the whole river will be a lot easier to navigate. If you keep
rowing it takes a lot longer for them to overtake and there are innumerable
cases of where such actions have led to serious accidents and injury.

Any incidences of deliberately impeding a University crew or any other crew
for that matter when there is clearly an opportunity to let them by are
against the rules and will be dealt with as such.

The circumstances I was discussing before are *ONLY RELEVANT TO OVERTAKING
QUEUES* hence the very clear section headers around each point. This is a
clarifcation of common sense which apparently a lot of people lack.

*Rule 22.b That no boat may overtake on a corner or when it cannot see that
it is safe to do so.*

If you're in a queue *NO ONE* should be overtaking as you cannot see that
it is safe. Pushing through a load of stationary boats invariably makes it
worse and makes everyone wait even longer.

Tom Grimble
CUCBC Honorary Secretary

On 16 November 2012 21:18, Tom Grimble <tom at cucbc.org> wrote:

> ** This message should absolutely be passed on to all coaches and coxes
> in your club if they are not already on one of these lists.*
> Dear all
> The river is getting very busy with boats as the end of term nears,
> particularly in the mornings. Also the number of incidents of dangerous
> behaviour and inconsiderate coxing that could easily lead to a serious
> accident has increased massively too.
> Please read the following and heed this warning as there will be no
> tolerance for stupid behaviour for the rest of this term.
> *1) Lights*
> All crews out in the 15 minutes after lighting down in the morning and in
> the 15 minutes before lighting up need to have lights on their boats.
> Marshals watch for this in the morning ad you will be fined for not having
> lights that are sufficiently visible. The only acceptable type of light is
> a *BRIGHT, WHITE light* on both bow and stern. If it is faint, buy some
> batteries!
> Also, saying the river was really busy and you didn't have time to stop to
> put lights on your boat is not a valid excuse. If you have an outing late
> in the afternoon you should be aware of when it gets dark and plan
> accordingly.
> *2) Spinning*
> The *ONLY* places where you may spin are at Jesus and Baitsbite Locks at
> either end of the river and at the P&E (alongside the small car park at the
> start of the towpath) and between the posts at the bottom of the Long
> Reach. Spinning elsewhere because you can't be bothereed to wait is
> unacceptable. When you want to spin you MUST ensure that the river is clear
> and that you will not impede anyone coming the other way. When you are able
> to find a safe place to spin please only spin 1 boat at a time. If you are
> behind, *WAIT YOUR TURN*. Once you finish spinning, clear the area as
> quickly as possible and THEN pull in.
> All crews should get out of the spinning areas as quickly as possible and
> you definitely should not be stopping and doing exercises as this blocks
> the river for everyone else.
> *3) Overtaking queues and on corners*
> It is an unfortunate reality that there is a massive queue in the mornings
> of boats trying to clear around the P&E and at Ditton to spin. If everyone
> used some more sense while trying to spin this would help matters (see
> previous section).
> If there is a solid queue of boats all the way ahead of you, *DO NOT
> OVERTAKE*. We have had innumerable incidences of crews pushing their way
> in front and they end up impeding a boat coming the other way. This usually
> ends up with all 3 boats getting tangled and it now takes 10 times as long
> for them to get out of the way making everyone sit around in a a queue for
> longer.
> No crew may overtake unless they ask permission to come by and can see it
> is safe. A massive queue in front *IS NOT CLEAR OR SAFE.* The cox being
> asked for permission to overtake also has a responsibility to respond even
> if it is a negative. This also goes for corners where you can't see around
> the bend, you should only overtake where you have a large clear space ahead
> of you that you can see.
> Not even University crews should be forcing their way through queues of
> boats without making sure it is safe and clear, although college crews are
> asked to give them priority where it is reasonable to do so. This is just a
> request, they do not have a right of way over others, but we all want to
> see them steaming past Oxford next year.
> *4) Crossover points*
> Pleas heed the massive signs at the crossover points!
> If you are going downstream (from the boathouses to Baitsbite Lock) you *MUST
> GIVE WAY TO UPSTREAM CREWS*. Be patient and do not push your luck trying
> to quickly nip across. Some of the worst accidents we've had have been a
> result of crews crossing over into others. It takes longer than you think
> for an VIII to get across the river and out of the way again. If you can
> see a crew coming ahead upstream you should probably sit and wait for them
> to go by.
> Upstream crews you do have priority but also have a responsibility to not
> cause an accident so *BE SAFE* and stop if you have to!
> *5) Holding up other crews with slow exercises*
> The stretch between the boathouses and Chesterton is narrow and windy and
> almost impossible to overtake on. In order to keep the flow of boats moving
> along here we ask that everyone keep to a minimum of half crew, half slide
> so that people don't end up stuck stationary when it is cold.
> If you have a clear river in front of you, *DO NOT SIT THERE DOING ARMS
> ONLY* while a massive queue of boats are stuck behind unable to overtake.
> Your coaches must plan for this and should only do slow exercises where
> there is space and should adapt their outing plan accordingly. If they
> can't they're a crap coach and I strongly recommend you get a new one.
> If there is nothing behind you, fine do it. If people are waiting, pull in
> and let them through or get your boat moving and let everyone have a chance
> at a decent outing!
> Now you've read all that I expect everyone on the river to now be
> completely safe and to do everything perfectly for the rest of term....
> Please be patient and please be considerate of others it will help a lot.
> Tom Grimble
> CUCBC Honorary Secretary
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