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2004 Instructions for Competitors

(Revised 20 April 2004)


  • The Races are held under A.R.A. Rules of Racing, subject to Local Rules which all competitors are strongly urged to read.
  • The Isis is just 2000 m long and very narrow in places. In order to prevent overcrowding for safety's sake, the Marshall 's instructions and Navigation rules will be strictly adhered to.
  • Crews should attend to the position of other crews and river users, and comply swiftly with the directives of marshals and umpires. Competitors and supporters should be courteous to other crews, officials and members of the public. The use of foul language will not be tolerated and could result in penalties.
  • Doubling up is not permitted.
  • Boats may be shared by one men's and one women's crew. For the purposes of doubling up, coxes will be considered as being part of the boat, i.e. a cox may double up provided only that s/he is coxing a men's and a women's crew sharing one boat.
  • Race Control is located in the bar at City Boathouse. Objections should be lodged at Race Control. The starting order, timetable and results will be posted on the Bumping Races web-site at
  • No Concept II style heel restraints to be used
  • No ‘vortex’ edge blades to be used.

Parking and Trailers

  • See How to get here for map and directions.
  • Trailers should be parked in the car park of the City Boathouse, and towing vehicles moved to the Council car park (marked "cars" on the map of directions). Other vehicles should also be parked in the Council car park. Boats arriving on trailers should be carried under Donnington Bridge and placed on trestles on the lawn in front of the Riverside Centre.


  • Crews from City of Oxford RC and Falcon RC, should embark and disembark from their own landing stages. University and College crews should bring their boats (and trestles) to the Riverside Centre and embark and disembark from the pontoon, which will be anchored next to the slipway.  Anyone likely to be inconvenienced by this arrangement should inform Barbara Wilson by Thursday 22nd April.
  • Crews using boats not racked in boathouses on the Isis (such as visiting clubs with trailers) should place their boats on trestles at the Riverside Centre (the other side of Donnington Bridge from the City Boathouse), and embark and disembark from the pontoon which will be anchored next to the slipway.


  • Participating crews in Divison II should pick up their racing numbers from Race Control before 8.00 am.  Crews in Division 1 should pick up their numbers after the mandatory 8:30am briefing but before 10am.
  • Coxes should weigh-in and collect their weight certificates on registration.
  • A pre-race briefing will be held in the bar of the City Boathouse starting at precisely 8.30 am. Attendance is mandatory for all participating coxes, strokes, polemen, judges and marshals. A roll-call will be taken.

Boating Instructions & Navigation

  • See Map of the Course
  • Detailed instructions for embarking, disembarking and river circulation are specified in the Local Rules.
  • All crews must embark from their designated landing stages with their bows pointing upstream, as soon as the safety boat following behind the previous race has given the 'all clear'.
  • Except when racing, crews must keep to the right hand side of the river above Donnington Bridge , and to the left hand side of the river below it (i.e. normal circulation is reversed below Donnington Bridge ).
  • Warming up should take place upstream of the Gut along the Greenbank but below Christ Church Boat House. Any crew practicing starts or firm pressure rowing in or downstream of the Gut will be penalized.
  • Crews proceeding on the right hand side of the river downstream towards the Start must stop at the marked crossing point at Donnington Bridge (see map) and await instructions from the Crossing Marshal before crossing over to left hand side of the River.
  • Crews which have passed the crossing point into the start area below Donnington Bridge may not leave it, except in the course of racing.
  • All crews should be near their bunglines by the 5-minute gun (see L10.4). At the very least, all crews MUST be below Donnington Bridge at this point.
  • All crews MUST be on their bunglines by the firing of the 1-minute gun. (Failure to comply will incur a penalty.)
  • At the end of a race, crews that have crossed the Finish line should wait in the turning area (see map) facing into the stream until the last boat remaining in the Division has crossed the line.
  • On turning, crews should immediately proceed downstream on the right hand side of the river and disembark at their designated landing stage. Crews disembarking anywhere downstream of the Gut should proceed to the crossing point at Donnington Bridge , where they should stop and await instructions from Crossing Marshal.
  • On crossing the river, crews should turn immediately opposite Salters' boatyard and approach the landing stages with bows pointing upstream.
  • Crews may not turn in the turning area after racing except under the direction of a marshal.
  • After a race, all participating crews must have disembarked at their designated landing stages before the 5-minute gun signalling the start of the next race. Failure to do so may incur a penalty.


  • Boats may be inspected for compliance with A.R.A. safety directives. In particular, boats must have suitable bow balls, hatch covers where fitted, and heel restraints must be fitted to all shoes.
  • ***Any boat that fails to comply with the safety requirements on inspection, and is late for the start as a result, will automatically be demoted to the bottom of its division. 
  • No Concept II style heel restraints to be used
  • No ‘vortex’ edge blades to be used.
  • Coxswains must wear a suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid.
  • Lifebuoys and throw bags are located at the clubhouse and in the safety boats.
  • First aid and river rescue is provided by launches covering the course and lower river area. In the event of an accident requiring assistance attract the attention of a marshal or an umpire who will be in radio contact with a rescue boat.
  • A first aid team will be on standby to provide first aid, and will be stationed at the City Boathouse.
  • First aid boxes are located in the club bar.
  • The nearest telephone is located in the Club bar. The following numbers may be useful:

    Police 01865 266000
    John Radcliffe Casualty Department 01865 741166
    General Emergency 999

Use the course map to specify a river location. The rowing club's address is City of Oxford RC, City Boathouse, Meadow Lane, Donnington Bridge Road, Oxford OX4 4BL. Telephone 01865 242576.

Revised: 21 April 2004 .

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