[CUCBC Coxes] Fog / Lights

Mark Jacobs mark at cucbc.org
Sat Jan 27 01:37:00 GMT 2018

Dear All,

This morning was, I think, the first foggy morning of the term. I'm sure 
it won't be the last. I've had a few reports of crews that were either 
poorly lit, or entirely lacking lights, and I'd be very glad not to hear 
any more this term!

For the first 15 minutes after lighting down (and the last 15 before 
lighting up), all crews are required to show a steady white light on 
their bow and stern. On overcast mornings in particular this makes it 
much easier for coxes to judge distances when rowing up behind queueing 
boats. Most of us (myself included) are guilty of letting our lights get 
a little too dim before changing batteries. When it's foggy though, 
bright lights are absolutely necessary because they are the first thing 
a cox of another boat will see.

Imagine a men's VIII travelling at a decent pace - how much time do you 
think it takes from their cox seeing something ahead to calling for the 
boat to hold it up? What is their stopping distance when the call has 
been made? Would you rather that they saw your bright light from 70 / 
80m away or your dim light from 30 / 40m? Or your unlit stern from 20m?!

Captains - if you don't have a decent stock of spare batteries in the 
boathouse, buy some. Crews are a  lot more likely to go out with crap 
lights if that's all they have to hand.

Coxes - you're the first thing that a crew approaching from behind will 
hit. If you have a healthy sense of self-preservation, take 
responsibility for checking at the start of every outing that your 
lights (if you need them) are bright. When visibility is poor please 
take extra care to keep a good lookout. If there's dense fog and you're 
not comfortable with how much you can see, talk to your coach to  let 
them know how you're getting on and to decide between you what you can 
safely and usefully do in the rest of the outing. Finally, be extremely 
careful with overtaking!

Any questions, let me know...


Mark Jacobs

CUCBC Safety Advisor

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