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The following information is based on a presentation given by the coaches to the rowers.  It covers important information including the rules of the river, expected behaviour and important safety information.

Boat Club Rules

Rules of the River


Responsibilities and Expected Behaviour

When training or competing at events for Kingston Grammar School, you are representing the Boat Club and the school. How you behave reflects directly on the school and the boat club.

To minimise inappropriate behaviour, I have set out a few guidelines that should help to ensure that all the members of the Boat Club can enjoy their rowing, and enjoy a safe and friendly environment whilst at KGSBC.

When training or on trips, you must beware of your surroundings and the relevant emergency procedures.

General Behaviour

Bullying will not be tolerated. The Boat Club follows the guidelines set out in the school diary. If you feel you are being bullied, talk to your coach or head of rowing, your conversation will be in dealt with in the strictest confidence.





It is important that if you wish to continue rowing at KGSBC that you conduct yourself in a responsible manner that reflects well on you and the boat club.

School Work

Do not use rowing training as an excuse for not doing homework. Keep up to date with your work and timetable your training and your coursework. If you are struggling, talk to both your rowing coach and your tutor.


During the Winter, competitions are called 'Head Races' - these are time trials. All crews racing will be given a start number and will be set off over the course in a processional manner. Their time will be taken as they cross the start line and when they cross the finish line. From this, their time taken to cover the course will be calculated and an order of the crews will be published, with the quickest crews over the course winning the event. This type of racing is normally over fairly long distances, and it is important the crews race hard over the whole course and pace themselves well to get the best time possible.

In the Spring and Summer the competitions change to 'Regattas'. These are side by side races with other crews over shorter distances, the winning crews go through to the next round and the losing crews get knocked out of the competition. Regattas can vary from two lane racing up to six lane racing.

Regattas tend to start early in the morning. It is important that if your child is racing they meet at the correct time. If they are late the coach can not wait, as this may mean other boats missing their race.

Once your child has raced, please allow the coach time to address the crew before you approach your child. If they have finished racing, your child will be still be required to de-rig their boat and load the equipment onto the boat trailer. Please allow your child to do this with the other members of their team without your help. It is important that they learn self reliance and teamwork. Once their equipment is loaded and the rowing coach has debriefed the crew, your child can either stay to watch any other crews racing, or if you would like to take them home, please notify their coach that they are going with you, so we can keep track of every one.


The coach shall ensure that the whole crew, including the coxswain, is suitably dressed and adequately protected for the weather conditions (hot or cold) that they are likely to encounter.

The coach is not only concerned in coaching crews, but has an underlying responsibility for their safety whilst in his/her charge.

Before beginning any coaching session, water or land based, the coach must go through a risk assessment process relevant to the activity proposed. The assessment must take into account the ages, abilities and limitations of the athletes involved, together with the water and weather conditions prevailing or facilities available, so that a Safety Plan can be prepared and the programme of activity adjusted to suit. The coach shall ensure that every athlete in their charge is aware of and understands the Safety Plan for the activity being undertaken.

Athletes and their coaches must be aware of their capabilities and limitations, and the limitations of their equipment, and exercise within those restraints, particularly where adverse weather and water conditions may be encountered, or when training on unfamiliar waters, both at home and abroad.

Coaching launches and safety boats shall carry equipment and safety aids.

Coaches will endeavour to get as many rowers as possible to participate in races.

Athlete Requirements

Individuals participating in any activity on the water must accept responsibility for their own actions.

All persons participating in rowing or sculling, including coxswains, must be able to swim.

An ability to swim 50 metres in light clothing and to demonstrate within that test competence underwater, in treading water, and in swimming on front and back, is considered a minimum requirement. If a person cannot meet the requirements of the swimming test for physical or other reasons, an approved lifejacket or buoyancy aid must be worn when in a boat. In case of accident, stay with your boat rather than attempt to swim to safety. Your boat, unless seriously damaged, is your liferaft.

Possession of good health before undertaking strenuous exercise is essential and the Safety Adviser and coaches must satisfy themselves in this respect. Where any concerns exist, medical advice must be sought.

Physically challenged athletes participating in rowing and sculling activities must be accompanied. Suitable rescue and first aid facilities to cope with any accident must be provided.

Coaches should be aware of and take full account of the athletes capabilities and limitations, and of the limitations of their equipment, particularly where adverse weather and water conditions may be encountered or when training on unfamiliar water, both at home and abroad.

In all activities, maintain a good look out for your own safety and that of those around you.

It is recommended that all active members, particularly junior members should learn and practice capsize and accident drills.

Steersmen, women and coxswains (collectively referred to as "steersman")

Any person steering a boat is responsible for the crew in their charge. Steering a boat is a highly responsible role.

Steersmen must:


Coxswains shall wear an approved lifejacket or buoyancy aid when on the water, both in training and in competition. Inflatable lifejackets must not be worn under other garments. In "front-loader" boats, the lifejacket/buoyancy aid must allow easy and unrestricted escape from the boat. Coxswains must fully understand and be practised in the operation of their lifejacket/buoyancy aid.

Steersman shall be able to satisfy their Safety Adviser and coach that they are in good health with adequate vision and sound hearing. Where prior evidence of epileptic fits or blackouts exists, coaches and crews must seek medical advice and be made fully aware of actions to be taken should an incident arise.

Coxswains should wear clothing suitable for the weather conditions. Particular care should be taken to ensure warmth around the head, neck and lower back, wrists and ankles. Water resistant outer gloves are recommended but bulky and heavy clothing and "Wellington" type boots which hinder movement, are to be avoided.

Be aware of the dangers and symptoms of hypothermia.

Rules of 50

An average adult person has a 50/50 chance of surviving a 50 yard swim in 50 degree F water.

A 50 year old person in 50 degree F water (10 degrees Celsius) has a 50/50 chance of surviving for 50 minutes.