> On Nov 13, 6:48 pm, "Christopher Shea"
>> IMPORTANT UPDATE
>> The race is currently on. Full or part cancellation remains a possibility
>> and a final decision will be taken at turn of tide tomorrow (12:30pm).
>> Competitors are advised to check the status of the race on our Twitter feed
>> or with their Host Club before boating tomorrow.
>> At the same time you should be considering the ability of your crews to
>> compete in what are likely to be rough conditions, even if the race takes
>> place. We can only decide whether the race is safe to go ahead for suitably
>> competent crews. You are the ones in a position to consider the competence
>> of your own crews. If you are in any doubt about your crew being able to
>> cope with the conditions you should scratch. One School has already
>> scratched two of its three crews on this basis. They are to be commended
>> for making that judgement.
>> Any scratching must be notified before 10pm tonight or in person at Chiswick
>> Pier House. If the race goes ahead it is essential we know who is on the
>> It is likely to be cold and windy. If crews are not properly dressed there
>> will be a real risk of hypothermia, especially for the latter starting
>> crews. We will not hesitate to remove crews from the river not properly
>> attired for the conditions.
>> Christopher Shea
>> Honorary Secretary
>> Head of the River Fours
> IIRC in 2007 when the HORR was cancelled, the weather was blustery
> and yet the decision to go ahead was made on the basis of a 'weather
> window' predicted by the PLA. I was afloat in a tin-fish, much against
> my own instincts because I had expected a cancellation even before the
> tide turned, helping crews above Barnes Bridge which had been swamped,
> when the decision was made to start racing. I then heard all of the
> radio messages from the umpires and emergency services and the efforts
> of them to get everyone safely ashore cannot be underestimated but,
> unfortunately, my own warnings before the race started were not heard
> because the steel structure of Barnes Bridge prevented clear
> I am sure that lessons were learned then and that if the weather has
> not stabilised the event will be cancelled. If not, then coaches must
> make their own decisions based on the experience of the crew and the
> inherent buoyancy of the boat.
Fine words, but -
How many coaches, crews or clubs will have even the first inkling as to
what is the "inherent buoyancy of the boat"?
Can _you_ calculate it? Only a tiny proportion of the population,
rowing or otherwise, is able to do the maths - even for a simple
Could Stuart Ward do it? He has written to inform me that he is
sufficiently expert in such matters. In reality I think he was kidding
himself & foolishly attempting to fob me off. All so shabby when lives
may depend on the real life flotation characteristics of a swamped shell.
Respect where it is due, some lessons, organisational and other, will
certainly have been learned from previous fiascos. I have a high regard
for the normal expertise of those running this event, but if conditions
are abnormal....? The place & time to do that learning is _not_ when
you have 500 crews afloat in a storm. That, as they say, is when the
shit may hit the fan.
Each crew, we are told, is supposed to make its own risk assessment on
each occasion they go afloat. Unless they have previously been swamped
in their boats, or have performed the necessary calculations on those
boats (for both of which, in the large majority of cases, the answers
must be that they have not), they cannot even begin to make that risk
Let's all hope for better conditions & a great race.
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing Low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: Harris Boatyard, Laleham Reach, Chertsey KT16 8RP, UK
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)