Weybridge Silver Sculls

Saturday, 22nd October 2016

Instructions to Competitors

This is the version of the page for October 2016. It will be reviewed and may be updated before the next event.

3300m upstream in four Divisions at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 & 15:30
Course starts about 250m below Walton Rowing Club and finishes at Elmbridge Canoe Club.

Club Captains, Coaches and Competitors must read these Instructions carefully and ensure all your entrants are fully conversant with them and apply them at all times.


The event is held under British Rowing Rules of Racing and complies with the “Row Safe:- A Guide to Good Practice in Rowing” guidelines. All coaches and competitors are expected to implement the guidelines, including putting safety above all other considerations and owing a duty of care to other river users. Risk of any serious incidents occurring will be reduced by the adherence of all those involved with these instructions.

It is the absolute responsibility of competitors and coaches to ensure that their boat meets the standards laid down in BR Rules of Racing and Row Safe.

Random checks will be carried out throughout the day.

Competitors and coaches are responsible for undertaking their own Risk Assessment, ensuring all crew members are competent, healthy and suitably clothed to race in the conditions prevailing on the day, irrespective of the organisers’ decision to hold all or some of the events. In the event of inclement weather, coaches must decide if their crews are competent to handle the conditions.

In the event of a major incident or deterioration in the weather, race officials will instruct crews what to do. These instructions must be adhered to strictly.

Crews deemed inadequately dressed for the conditions will not be allowed to boat.

Before Race Day

Please check the start list and advise any errors and notify any scratchings to Rachel Kornberg on email: silversculls@weybridgerowing.org.uk or mobile: 07852 200851.


All entries (except Open and Women's Elite, J18, J14.4x+ and Masters) will be automatically moved to a higher status event if insufficient entries are received, unless it is indicated on BROE that competitors do not wish this to happen.

Masters' categories will be combined if insufficient entries are received and these will be indicated on the draw. A handicap will be applied in accordance with the Masters Handicapping Data given in the Umpires' Handbook.

Masters Novice will not have a handicap applied for age.


Race Registration Tent will be at Cowey Sale Car Park, operating from 08:00.

FOUR numbers per boat need to be collected

A single club representative should collect all the numbers for their club's competitors prior to going afloat as early as possible. Crews afloat will not be allowed to land at Cowey Sale to collect numbers prior to racing.



There are four places from which crews can launch boats along the course:

Boats must be launched upstream before turning to come downstream to the start.

Doubling up (sculler or boat): please make sure any old numbers have been removed.


From 30 minutes before the start of the first division and for the duration of the event, competitors proceeding downstream between the Desborough Channel and the start area will use the Navigation Channel on the Middlesex side of the river. This means careful positioning, as shown by the arrows on the map, on the Middlesex side of the centre of the river, i.e. just to the Middlesex side of the buoys. Non-race traffic going upstream must be allowed enough water for it to keep into the Middlesex bank.

During this time, competitors proceeding upstream, including those boating from Walton Rowing Club, Dudley Road Recreation Ground and Cowey Sale, should use the course, i.e. the Surrey side of the river. On turning to go down to the start, they should use the Navigation Channel as described above.


For each Division, competitors will assemble 10 minutes before the start time shown on the Start Order. THE FIRST 30 CREWS in each division will marshal downstream of the start area on the SURREY (towpath) side pointing upstream as instructed by Marshals - ZONE ‘A’. The next 50 crews will line up on the MIDDLESEX side upstream of the moored barges also pointing upstream - ZONE ‘B’. Crews 81 to 150 will marshal upstream of Tumbling Bay weir on the MIDDLESEX side of the river, pointing upstream - ZONE ‘C’.

Numbered boards on the side of the river will indicate where boats should be positioned. Boats should marshal in single file and a clear navigation channel must be maintained at all times.

Competitors on the Surrey side will be told when to paddle up to the start. As soon as most of the first 30 have moved up, Marshals will instruct competitors on the Middlesex side to turn and to paddle gently down in numerical order towards the turning marshal, keeping close to the barges on Middlesex. Crews may only turn when explicitly ordered to do so by a Marshall. They should turn towards the Surrey bank. Competitors should then proceed upstream as instructed towards the start.

Boating from Walton Rowing Club and Dudley Road Rec. will cease 15 minutes before the start of each Division. No competitor may boat from, or return to the Surrey bank while the race is in progress.


Competitors will be started at approximately 10-second intervals and must pass between the buoys and the Surrey bank (towpath side). The order to start will be given approximately 50m before the timed start.

The Race

There is a RIVER CLOSURE NOTICE in effect along Desborough Channel and the Surrey side of D’Oyly Carte Island only from 09:00 to 17:00 meaning this channel is only available to race competitors.

Start Procedure: Marshals will give a 5 minute warning before the start of each Division to allow crews to prepare. Approaching the start each crew will wait for “Crew Number xxx GO” before starting to race.

Navigation: When racing, competitors should keep to the Surrey (towpath) side of the river up to the Desborough Channel where the full width may be used.

Marker buoys: Competitors must pass to the Surrey (towpath) side of all YELLOW buoys and the TEN RED BUOYS on the approach to Walton Bridge. Umpires will consider sanctions that may include time penalties applied for blades over the buoy-line and disqualification for boats leaving the course, particularly if they create a safety hazard or gain any advantage. RED buoys in the marshalling area and along the course indicate if there is a hazard ahead.

Overtaking: Competitors being overtaken should give way and move out of the racing line, to whichever side is appropriate in the circumstances. Umpires may penalise a competitor being overtaken for careless or unjustified obstruction. Overtaking crews must not impede a crew who has given way by unnecessarily demanding more water.

Finish: The finish is at Elmbridge Canoe Club, approximately 100m above Desborough Top Cut Bridge (see map), and will be marked with a board.

Disputes: Any disputes should be notified by the competitor involved, or a representative of the Club, as soon as possible to the Chief Umpire who will be located at Cowey Sale.

Returning Competitors

After racing competitors must continue upstream and go around D'Oyly Carte Island to return downstream. Competitors are advised to wait until the end of the Division and return along the Desborough Channel when advised by Marshals that it is safe to do so.

Alternatively crews are able to return via the old river behind Desborough Island where normal river navigation rules apply. Downstream of Desborough Island they should keep to the Navigation Channel, i.e. the Middlesex side of the centre of the river.


Competitors returning to the Cowey Sale boating area MAY NOT cross to the Surrey bank while the race is still in progress unless a marshal instructs otherwise. They MUST either wait for the division to finish, tucked well into the Middlesex bank, keeping the navigation channel clear and await the marshall on the bank to call them across, or proceed further downstream and then turn onto the course to follow the last boat in that division, maintaining a clear gap between themselves and the last racing boat. Similarly, crews returning to Walton RC must wait on the Middlesex bank until the last boat from the division has started, or until they are called across by a Marshal.

Any non-racing competitor who obstructs a racing competitor WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.


A map of the course is supplied that details the positioning of competitors at the start, the course to be steered, the circulation pattern at the finish and positions of Umpires, Marshals, Safety Launches and First Aid.

In the event of Thunderstorms the 30/30 guidance rule will apply. If it is necessary to suspend racing the Chief Umpire will signal to all Officials to clear the river.

Under such circumstances all crews are to leave the river by the nearest landing point irrespective of where they may have boated from. DO NOT TRY TO RETURN TO YOUR BOATING POINT IF IT IS FURTHER THAN THE NEAREST LANDING POINT TO YOU. Crews must abide by all directions from Officials. Crews are to take safe shelter in clubhouse or cars, as appropriate.

Resumption of racing will be advised to all Officials along the course and we will endeavour to recover as much racing as possible although some crews may not complete their Division.

Accident and Emergency Procedures

All parts of the course are under observation by at least one Marshal or Umpire. A Marshal or Umpire seeing an incident must deal with it as their first priority and inform the Chief Umpire by radio stating the nature of the incident and the assistance required.

Ambulance access is possible for casualties brought ashore at: Walton Rowing Club (Start), The Anglers Wharf, Cowey Sale, Elmbridge Canoe Club (Finish) and WLARC.


Radios will be supplied to all Marshals, each Safety Launch, the Ambulance and all Umpires. Telephones are located at Elmbridge Canoe Club (01932 856839), The Anglers pub, Thames Valley Skiff Club and Walton RC (01932 224557).


In accordance with BR’s guidelines for Competitions, the event has appointed a Welfare Officer (Mary Foulkes / mobile: 07884 118031) to act as point of contact for any matters relating to the welfare and wellbeing of both competitors and young and vulnerable people attending the event.

Results and Prizegiving

Provisional results will be posted after each Division and displayed at Elmbridge Canoe Club and uploaded onto the Silver Sculls website www.weybridgerowing.org.uk/silversculls.

Presentation of prizes will take place at Elmbridge Canoe Club at c 17:30 hrs. Results will be posted on the Weybridge Silver Sculls website: www.weybridge.rowing.org.uk/silversculls

Last modified: 3rd October 2016