The risk of serious incidents will be reduced by the adherence to these instructions by all competitors, coaches and officials. The Organising Committee will seek the advice of the EA 72hrs before the event, to decide if the probable water conditions will make it safe to proceed.
The Weybridge Silver Sculls web site provides maps of the course, together with Instructions to Competitors and Officials which give details of the positioning of crews at the start, the course to be steered, navigation rules that apply on the day and the circulation of finishing crews. It also outlines the positions of Umpires, Marshalls, Safety Launches and First Aid.
NB: Individual captains are responsible for ensuring that participating crews from their respective clubs are fully briefed and competent to race in the prevailing conditions.
Accident and Emergency Procedures
All parts of the course are under observation by at least one Marshall or Umpire.
A Marshall or Umpire seeing an incident will deal with it as the first priority and inform the Chief Umpire immediately by radio.
If safety boat attendance is required this should be summonsed on CHANNEL 1
The nature and specific location of the incident, together with the assistance required, must be clearly stated.
The safety of the crew is the sole priority.
It should be quickly ascertained that all crew member’s feet are free of the boat.
Approaching crews must be warned to take avoiding action.
The crew should be assisted if possible to get their boat to the bank.
Consideration must be given to seeking expert medical assistance from First Aid available.
A capsize does not necessarily warrant an EMERGENCY radio call unless there is a clear need for immediate help.
In the event of a serious incident on the course making it unsafe to continue racing, any Umpire may stop racing by verbally instructing crews to “STOP RACING”
Each Umpire’s first responsibility is to the crews in their reach of the course. Having ensured those crews have understood and reacted to the instruction to stop racing, they will then contact the Chief Umpire by radio or phone with a brief report as to why they have stopped the race.
The Chief Umpire will then relay the message to all other Umpires and Starter, who must immediately stop the race in their reach using the command “STOP RACING”. The Chief Umpire will use the following message “ALL STATIONS. RACE CONTROL.STOP THE RACE. I REPEAT STOP THE RACE. ALL STATIONS ACKNOWLEDGE”. Acknowledgments begin with the starter and work up the course.
Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, crews will be instructed to return to their boating areas following the navigation rules in place at the time.
Man Overboard and Capsize
If a sculler or crew capsizes, others must be instructed to steer clear whilst those in the water should stay with their boat. The sculler or crew should attempt to get themselves and their boat to the nearest bank, straddling the boat to get as far out of the water as possible.
In the event of possible thunder or lightning, the race will adopt the British Rowing guidelines as below:-
Use the ‘30 - 30 Rule’ when you see lightning, count the time until you hear the thunder.
If it is 30 seconds (approx. 10 km away) or less, seek 'proper shelter'.
If you can't see the lightning, just hearing the thunder is a good back-up rule for it being time to seek 'proper shelter'. Wait a minimum of 30 minutes after the last lightning or thunder before leaving shelter.
In the event of imminent danger from thunder and/or lightning, the Chief Umpire will suspend racing and in conjunction with all other Umpires and Marshalls instruct all crews to land as quickly as possible at the nearest and safest part of the river. Crews should not row back to their departure point but land at the nearest point.
First Aid and Rescue
Three Safety Launches, each carrying a qualified First Aider as crew, will be stationed along the course in the positions shown on the map. A further Safety Launch will be stationed on the ‘Old’ river to the north of Desborough Island to provide cover for crews returning from the Finish to their boating points. If a launch crew sees an incident they should deal with it as a priority, keeping the Chief Umpire informed. A rescue launch attending an incident must be aware of of the effect excessive wash can cause to other crews. Where possible, safety launches should approach an incident from downstream. Land based First Aiders will be in attendance in a St John Ambulance vehicle at Cowey Sale. Casualties can be brought ashore with Ambulance access at Walton Rowing Club, Anglers Wharf, Elmbridge Canoe Club and Weybridge Ladies ARC.
During any incident, the radio network must be kept free from unnecessary traffic to allow the person on the spot, handling the situation, to communicate with whom they choose. Radios are issued to all Umpires and Safety Launches together with the Start Team and most Marshalls.