Contingency Plan for finishing at Hammersmith Bridge

UPDATE 11.20am Saturday, 3 November 2018: After a positive river inspection it has now been decided to run a full course race. The race committee would like to wish all crews the best of luck and send their best wishes to everybody for a successful race.

UPDATE 10:00 Saturday, 3 November 2018: Course inspection outcome is delayed to 11:15. Crews should boat as normal using ebb navigation on the inshore zone.

As at 18:00 Friday, 2 November 2018, the wind forecast continues to include significant gusts from a southerly direction, which means that there is a risk of high waves from Hammersmith to Putney as a result of the wind being against the stream on that part of the Championship Course.

It may be necessary to shorten the course to finish at Hammersmith Bridge (approx 4,300m) so that crews do not race through this rough patch.

A decision on this will be made following the course inspection at about 11:00.

If we decide to shorten the course, the decision will be published on the website and broadcast via Twitter. Crews are recommended to check these before boating.

The contingency plan below sets out what will change IF the course is shortened to finish at Hammersmith Bridge. Crews and particularly steers/coxes should familiarise themselves with it NOW so that they know what to do should the decision be taken to shorten the course.

Contingency Plan for finishing at Hammersmith Bridge

The finish line will be just up-stream from Hammersmith Bridge, parallel with the bridge, from the landing stage outside British Rowing on the Middlesex bank.

The map below shows the position of the finish line and what crews should do after they have crossed the line, specifically:

  • All crews should continue through Hammersmith Bridge.
  • ONLY crews who will return to British Rowing/AK/Furnivall (i.e. not Sons of the Thames/Latymer) or to Fulham Reach (a little further downstream) should turn to Middlesex/strokeside
  • Crews returning to upriver clubs including Sons of the Thames and Latymer turn to Surrey/bowside.
  • Crews for Barn Elms and Putney continue straight on but row slowly and remain “line astern” (i.e. don’t overtake) to go past the rough bit with care, and row dead slow from the Black Buoy. They will turn as usual after going through both Putney road and Fulham rail bridges as per the Instructions to Crews.
  • If conditions are so severe that turning beyond the bridges is unsafe, crews returning to Barn Elms will be turned by officials close to the Barn Elms hard, and crews returning to Putney will be directed down the inshore zone to land with the stream. Please listen carefully for instructions.

HOR4s-Contingency-map-finish-Hammersmith-v3

Although the Committee is satisfied that the race can be run safely with this amendment, coaches and crews should make individual assessments of each of their crews and consider scratching (on BROE2) less experienced crews, particularly if boating from Putney which will require them to row up and back through the worst of the rough water.

Note

  • If the decision is taken to finish at Hammersmith, it will be because the Committee considers it safe for crews to row slowly and carefully through the rough area. It should be noted that not all race crews will have to do this as those boating from upriver of Hammersmith Bridge will turn there, and so the number of crews manoeuvering in rougher water at Putney will be lower than if the race finished at Putney Pier.

Written by Helena Smalman-Smith

Expedition rower and creator of RowingStory.com