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 United Hospitals & University of London Regattas

Officials' instructions
Subject to approval and current situation regarding coronavirus

UH Autumn Regatta (incorporating Allom cup)

Saturday 27.11.21

Reserve date

Sunday 5.12.21

Winter Regatta

Sunday 23.1.22

High water

Kew Bridge




Low water

Kew Bridge




High water

Kew Bridge








Officials’ meeting




Times of races

Ebb stream

09:00 – 14:30

09:00 – 11:15

09:00 – 14:00

Flood stream

15:30 – 15:30[3]

12:30 – 14:50

15:00 – 15:45

Ebb stream

15:20 – 15:30


[3] Short flood session

The time of low water is NOT the same as that at which the stream changes from ebb to flood (the stream usually changes AFTER low water and the delay increases with excess land water (fluvial flow). Likewise the time of high water may FOLLOW the change from flood to ebb in situations where there is excess land water).

Reducing the risk of transmission of coronavirus infections

  1. You must adhere to relevant national and local guidance to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus infection. You should maintain appropriate social distancing and should wear a face mask when in close proximity to others.
  2. You must adhere to the British Rowing guidance set out at 210720-Managing-COVID-19-v14.pdf ( particularly with reference to competitions.
  3. You must adhere to the requirements of the host club (e.g. ULBH or TSS).
  4. You must not attend the event if you have a positive test result for Covid 19, or you have been told to self-isolate, or you have symptoms.
  5. If you develop symptoms during the course of the regatta, please leave as soon as possible and notify the UHBC Covid officer.
  6. If you develop symptoms within 72 hours of the regatta, please inform the UHBC Covid Officer.


It is intended to cover as many key race official positions as possible with licenced umpires depending on availability.

Umpires (5):

  • Start manager/aligner[1]
  • Race umpires x 2
  • Chief Judge at the Finish
  • Control Commission

Safety launch (1) – recognised provider. Launch 2 will act as secondary safety launch if primary safety launch dealing with an incident.

Marshals (11):

  • Race control at ULBH (BM1)
  • Bank Marshal 2 at ULBH (working with control commission umpire)
  • Bank Marshal 3 at finish (assistant to finish judge)
  • Bank Marshal 4 (‘spotter’) beyond finish (Ship Inn for ebb races, duty covered by finish judge during flood racing as upriver visibility is good).
  • Launch 2 Marshal & driver
  • Launch 3 Driver (for start manager)
  • Launch 4 Finish marshal & driver
  • Launch 5 Driver for race umpire 1
  • Launch 6 Driver for race umpire 2

An additional bank marshal may be needed when the stream is low enough to expose the shingle at the marshalling area in order to keep crews close to bank whilst in the marshalling area and avoid obstruction of the inshore zone. This marshal will work closely with launch 2.

General notes

  1. The event will be held in accordance with British Rowing rules of racing. Officials should bear in mind that some crews will lack experience and therefore a ‘soft touch’ interpretation of the rules of racing may be appropriate provided that safety is not compromised.
  2. It is expected that key race official positions will be filled by licenced umpires, however the majority of other marshalling roles will be filled by nominated individuals from each of the six constituent clubs. These notes are primarily addressed to the club marshals.
  3. Officials’ meeting in advance – in virtual format as indicated for each event. All should attend. Officials must be ready to get into position on the water before crews boat.
  4. Club representatives - please ensure all launches are correctly fitted with British Rowing–compliant IDs and are put out in good time prior to crews boating (including petrol, deadman’s handles and safety equipment). The list of required launch safety equipment is detailed in BR Row Safe.
  5. All officials must be familiar with the Code of Practice for Rowing on the Tideway (2006), and the location of the starboard and port lateral mark buoys.
  6. All officials must have read the relevant sections of the event safety plan, with particular reference to the instructions to coxswains (appendix 2), and the navigation plans (appendices 6-10).
  7. First aid available from individual Clubs at ULBH. UHBC/ULBC kit is at ULBH. See below for further details.
  8. In the event of an accident your first duty is to the safety of competitors and yourself – see appendices 4/a/b. See section 11 regarding the duties of the safety launch. Any emergencies (medical/regatta) to be reported to control ASAP by radio. See appendix 4. Safety first – do not put yourself into danger but if close to the scene please offer assistance. Do not neglect the other aspects of your duty. If the safety launch is in attendance then please return to your designated duty unless otherwise requested.
  9. Radio protocol: please keep your messages clear and short. Remember that no-one else can transmit if you hold your transmit button down. In general please refer to the person you are trying to contact by position rather than name, particularly for:
· Control
  • Start
  • Finish
  • Spotter (bank marshal 4)
  • Safety

Please keep all radio traffic formal. The correct manner of starting a call is:

‘Race control, race control, this is xxxx, over’ (best way of attracting attention)

‘This is race control, go ahead’

‘Message, over, (where response expected)

‘Response, out’ (to end conversation)

In case of radio failure use mobile phones. Please make sure that you have given your number to control.

  1. It is the personal responsibility of each club to ensure each club boat conforms to the British Rowing requirements. Bow-balls, heel release mechanism, British Rowing – compliant IDs, rudder lines and fin, the integrity of the buoyancy chambers, and the proper fitting of coxes’ buoyancy aids must be checked by each club; some random checks will be done by control commission (and bank marshal 2) and crews may be disqualified if boats do not comply (refer start). A written record will be kept of checks by UHBC/ULBC.
  2. Safety launch (call sign ‘safety’) will be stationed on the course so as to have a good view of the start and most of the course.
  • The safety launch should be have an inflatable hull
  • There shall be two people in the safety launch
  • One of these shall either hold a first aid qualification, or be a qualified medical practitioner or a clinical medical student.
  • The safety launch will attend to any capsize or untoward incident in the area covered by the regatta (this includes non-competing crews), and will take over from any other launch as the primary rescue launch to release the other launch back to their designated duties.
  • For incidents at the finish end of the course, assistance can be requested from launch 4 if needed.
  • If the safety launch is dealing with an incident then launch 2 will be designated as the secondary safety boat for the duration of that incident.
  1. Launch 2 (start marshalling) responsibilities:
  • Act as secondary safety boat if the primary safety launch is dealing with an incident.
  • Ensure that UH boats stay in the designated marshalling area; crews must stay line astern and close to the bank in the marshalling areas.
  • If an additional bank marshal is provided when the stream has dropped to expose the shingle, work closely with that marshal to keep boats as close as possible to the bank whilst waiting for their race.
  • Ensure that UH boats do not impede external crews or other vessels; the launch needs to ensure that all boats stay well inside the in-shore zone and do not cause obstruction.
  • Turn crews when requested by start (assisted by the appropriate umpire’s launch). Crews should be taken up sufficiently far beyond the relevant turning point (UL red buoy for the ebb start and Bull’s Alley green buoy/opposite side for the flood start), and turned around the buoy (without running it over during the turn). It is best to take the crew due to row on the outside station (that is, the Middlesex station for the ebb start and the Surrey station for the flood start) furthest (nearest Kew or Barnes Railway Bridge as appropriate) so that when both crews start to turn they do not cross over each other’s paths.
  • For the ebb marshalling, ensure that crews do not turn too far over to the port (Middlesex) side of the fairway; for the flood marshalling, ensure that crews do not turn too far over to the Surrey side.
  • For the ebb marshalling, the launch driver must also make sure that the launch is line astern or out of the fairway on the starboard (Surrey) side.
  1. Launch 3 (call sign ‘start’) is the start manager/aligner.
  • The start manager is in overall charge of the event marshalling and circulation pattern and he should be informed of all safety issues as soon as possible.
  • All races will be started following aligning bows level.
  • The start will pay particular attention to crews returning to ULBH against the ebb tide at the crossing point where these boats cross the racing line.
  1. Launch 4 (call sign ‘launch 4’) will monitor the finish.
  • Launch 4 should attend an emergency in the second half of the course if (a) called by radio and (b) it is safe to leave the other duties.
  • Ebb racing: The marshal will ensure that crews continue through Chiswick Bridge line astern in accordance with CPRT and then turn promptly to the Surrey in-shore zone in accordance with CPRT well before the Ship Inn buoy. Please monitor all crews until they have successfully completed their turn and entered the Surrey side in-shore zone. Ensure that crews returning to ULBH against the ebb stream in the in-shore zone on the Surrey side stay as close as practicable to the Surrey bank.
  • Flood racing: Ensure that crews are aware of the potential danger of being swept onto the wooden piles and pier just upriver from ULBH on the Middlesex side. Make sure that relevant crews understand the available options for turning into ULBH at the end of the flood course (either turn immediately to Middlesex if there is sufficient space, or continue around the UL buoy – ‘figure of eight’, or continue through Kew railway bridge if needs be) in accordance with appendix 9. Ensure that timely and clear instructions are given to crews to ensure that they stay well clear of the wooden piles and pier. Please monitor crews who proceed beyond ULBH in order to turn around the UL buoy or between the Kew RZs.
  • In the case of races on the flood; launch 4 will ensure that other crews boating from UL do not cross across a race in progress on the course.
  • The launch will ensure that there is no conflict with external crews or other river users.
  • The launch should inform the start if a powered vessel comes into sight from the downstream end of the regatta course (if this has not already been reported by the spotter – BM4– on the ebb or the finish marshal – BM3 – on the flood).
  1. Umpires in launches 5&6 will follow races alternately.
  • The launch following each race will assist launch 2 in turning the crews and accompany them to the starting area.
  • The launch will ensure that crews do not turn too far over to the port (Middlesex) side of the fairway for the ebb start and the Surrey side for the flood start.
  • The launch will then follow the race to the finish and ensure that the crews are able to turn promptly and safely (taking into account the restricted zones at both finishes) before returning to the start.
  • When returning to the start, the launches should monitor UH crews returning to their boathouse and ensure that the crews stay in the Surrey in-shore zone as appropriate; and instruct crews as required. Such crews need to obey the rules of the in-shore zone as set out in CPRT.
16 CONTROL is the shore-based race control at ULBH.
  • Will be identified as ‘control’
  • Control will be located out of the general access area at ULBH in 2020-21 – please do not go to the control desk unless it is necessary and maintain social distancing
  • Control will co-ordinate the order of racing and liaise with all water-borne marshals as appropriate.
  • Control is responsible for dealing with any major incident or injury (see appendix 4A); including calling an ambulance and alerting the medical officers as appropriate.
  • Control will co-ordinate the boating of crews, in conjunction with BM2 and launch 1, to reduce wherever possible the time spent by competing crews waiting for their opposition in the marshalling areas. In particular, control needs to ensure that boating of further crews is suspended if there are already 10 crews waiting for their race in the marshalling areas (so as to reduce the possibility of causing congestion and obstruction to other river users).
  • Control needs to liaise with a representative of Kings/GKT at TSSC to ensure timely boating of crews at TSSC.
  1. Bank marshal 2 assists control at ULBH.
  • The marshal will assist in the boating of crews.
  • The marshal will assist a licenced umpire (if provided) with control commission duties in accordance with BR rules of racing. There should be a random check of the adequacy of bow balls, heel restraints, buoyancy chambers, coxes buoyancy aids and general seaworthiness. Concerns should be referred to a licenced umpire and serious deficiencies which are irremediable may lead to the boat being excluded.
  1. Bank marshal 3 (call sign ‘finish’) will be stationed at the finish.
  • The marshal will assist the licenced umpire (if provided) in judging the finish. If there is no licenced umpire provided please discuss any concerns with the start manager.
  • A crew may win by the shortest possible distance measurable by eyesight. If at all possible it is recommended that a photographic record be taken of particularly close finishes (e.g. by using a suitable mobile telephone on video record) but this will only be used as an adjunct to the eyesight judgement.
  • The marshal will relay the finish result to control.
  • Flood racing - The marshal will act as the up-river spotter and inform the start of any powered vessel or significant river activity coming down to the finish from upriver. (if this has not already been done so by the spotter - bank marshal 4)
19 Bank marshal 4 (call sign ‘spotter’) will be stationed at the Ship Inn (looking towards Barnes Bridge) for races on the ebb.
· The spotter will monitor the river beyond the course to provide early warning of pleasure cruisers and other oared boats coming into the race course from downriver.
· The spotter will report all significant river activity (and in particular the presence of any motor vessel coming against the stream) to the start.


August 2021

[1] Usually CORC (‘Chief umpire’)

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