Weybridge Silver Sculls

Saturday, 21st October 2017

Instructions to Competitors

3300m upstream in four Divisions at 09:30, 11:30, 13:30 & 15:30
Course starts about 250m below Walton Rowing Club and finishes about 30m below the Red Lion Pub at Shepperton.

Club Captains, Coaches and Competitors must read these Instructions carefully and ensure all participants 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.

Maps of the course are supplied that detail 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, The Red Lion garden (Finish) and WLARC.


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. This representative must ensure all crews are aware of the new course we are running this year. Crews afloat will not be allowed to land at Cowey Sale to collect numbers prior to racing.



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

Boats will be launched facing downstream at Cowey Sale from the pontoon close to Walton Bridge in order to proceed directly down the navigation channel to the start. If you are doubling-up (sculler or boat), please ensure any old numbers have been removed.

We will be boating in batches of 40 (please see separate instructions), with the objective that boats will arrive at the start in the correct order, so they can turn to the Middlesex side and commence racing, thereby reducing any holding time. Please ensure you boat at your allocated time.


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 Surrey side of the river. Non-race traffic going upstream must be allowed enough water for them to keep in the Navigation Channel towards the middle of the river. During this time, competitors proceeding upstream, including those boating from Walton Rowing Club and Dudley Road Recreation Ground, should also use the Middlesex side (closest to the buoys) of the Navigation Channel before turning to place themselves in correct numerical order.


For each Division, the first 40 boats will assemble 10 minutes before the start time in zone ZONE ‘A’ in numeric order. They will marshal pointing downstream on the SURREY (towpath) side with the first boat opposite the timing start on the Middlesex bank. The next 40 crews will line up in zone ZONE ‘B’, upstream of zone ˜‘A’, having boated 15 minutes later, but will be quickly marshalled down the river to the start to take the place of the zone ‘A’ boats. Similarly, the last 40 boats in each division will move down through zone ZONE ‘C’ to zone ‘B’ to zone ‘A’ before being turned to start racing.

Boats should marshal in single file and a clear navigation channel must be maintained at all times.

Competitors will be told when to turn and proceed to the start.


Competitors will be started at approximately 10-second intervals. The instruction to start will be given approximately 50m before the timed start.

The Race

There is a RIVER CLOSURE NOTICE in effect along the Old River downstream of the finish from 09:00 to 17:30 meaning this stretch of the river is only available to race competitors. Crews who have finished racing and are proceeding back to their boating points via the Desborough Channel must observe normal river navigation rules.

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 Middlesex side of the river up to the Desborough Channel, the full width may be used when in the Old River section. Please be aware that boats are moored along the Middlesex side so competitors should steer away from the bank. If a competitor hits a moored boat they may incur a time penalty.

Marker buoys: Competitors must pass to the Middlesex side of all YELLOW buoys and the RED buoys on the approach to Walton Bridge. Umpires will consider sanctions that may include both time penalties applied for blades over the buoy-line and disqualification for boats if the hull of the boat leaves the course or the navigation channel and crosses 3 buoys of the buoy-line, 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 the jetty on the last house approximately 30 meters before reaching the Red Lion Public House (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 the Old River to return down the Desborough Cut to Cowey Sale or Walton. Please note that when returning normal river navigation rules apply, i.e. keep to the Surrey (towpath) side.

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


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 The Red Lion Public House and uploaded onto the Silver Sculls website. Presentation of prizes will take place at The Red Lion Public House, Russell Road, Shepperton, TW17 9HX at c.17:30hrs. Results will be posted on the Weybridge Silver Sculls website: www.weybridge.rowing.org.uk/silversculls

Last modified: 12th October 2016