All coxes, marshals and bank parties must read and understand the notes for coxes and for marshals. The Bumps Risk Assessment is supported by the Rules.
The aim is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for the Bumping Races.
Rowing to start and after the race – Risk lowNormal racing – Risk lowStraightforward bump – Risk mediumThree or more boats together – Risk may be highThe river becomes blocked – Risk may be highThe towpath – Risk may be highSpectators – Risk lowOther river users – Risk lowWeather Conditions – Risk lowFlooding/Strong Stream – Risk lowIllness – Risk low
A. Rowing to start and after the race. Risk low
At this stage the crews are in the same situation as on a normal outing and must take the usual precautions etc. Crews, particularly in the Long Reach, going to the start or paddling home after being involved in a bump must be extra aware of crews coming towards them, possibly two abreast.
B. Normal racing – Risk low
All boats must be fitted with a bow ball and coxes must wear life jackets (or equivalent) and be in accordance with other BR Water Safety requirements. If a marshal observes that a boat has no bow ball or the cox has no life jacket, they will stop the boat starting.
Where no bump is involved the risk is no greater than for a normal outing.
C. Straightforward bump – Risk medium
There is little risk in a straightforward two boat bump or technical bump. (Where boats overlap to coxes seat). Usually crews have ample time to pull into a bank. Coxes must acknowledge as soon as the necessary overlap is achieved or an actual bump made.
Coxes must be in control of their crew and get into the bank as soon as possible. Bank parties must assist at all times. Coxes, crews and bank parties must act upon the directions of a marshal (argue later if necessary).
There may be a risk that someone has fallen into the river (possibly after catching a crab). All participants must be made aware immediately. Static marshals will have throwlines and also bank parties should carry them. (BR regulations) Get the person to the bank as soon as possible. If that is absolutely not possible, the race must be stopped by the marshal.
D. Three or more boats together (this is potentially the most dangerous situation) – Risk potentially high
When three or more boats are close together, there is a greater possibility of risk and marshals and bank parties must make themselves extra vigilant. If the back two boats bump then the situation is as for a normal bump. When the front two crews bump, both crews must continue rowing and pull into the bank, preferably to the one that is away from the expected direction of the third boat. The marshal must inform the third crew immediately. That crew must ease a little but carry on past as soon as possible. If a fourth boat is close then extra precautions are needed.
E. The river becomes blocked – Risk potentially high
The river may become blocked when, after a bump, the two boats do not clear the river properly or, in a three boat situation, the third has become entangled and cannot proceed. If the third boat is firmly fixed but the river is clear for following boats, then that boat should stay in place (given a row-over) and allow all the following boats to row past.
If, in the opinion of a marshal, the river is blocked, ie it is impossible to row or paddle past, then he or she must stop the race immediately, go down stream and inform following crews, who must obey the signal even if very close to getting a bump. (The Senior Umpire will decide whether a bump should be awarded). For signalling that the race is to be stopped, and for no other reason, all static marshals and some senior mobile ones will carry a loud hailer, which will be sounded loudly. All coxes and bank parties must stop their crew immediately.
F. The towpath – Risk potentially high
The towpath is a public path (cycle and foot). Some people are not aware of the races, but should see that there will be coaches with boats, and will keep to one side. Those going into Cambridge will have passed the boats at the start and will be more prepared but may still be much slower especially if with children. These must be warned by as many marshals as possible and recommended to stop for a few minutes during the race.
Those going towards the lock may not be prepared for such a large number of cyclists coming towards them. Warning signs will be placed at the start of the towpath at Peters Posts.
A marshal should go before the first boat in each division to give verbal warning.
Bank Parties are limited to four cyclists per boat. There will be no running alongside boats.
G. Spectators – Risk low
On the whole, spectators are aware of the possible dangers on the towpath, by keeping to the grass, or of being hit by oars when crews come into the bank. If the opportunity arises, marshals should point out, especially, that children (and dogs) must be restrained.
H. Other river users – Risk low
Many are well aware of the races and keep to the bank. Any, who do not seem aware, must be warned by marshals and the situation explained very forcibly so that the river is clear during races.
I. Weather conditions – Risk low
These races take place during the summer months so the risk of hypothermia, owing to cold conditions, is low. If there is a thunderstorm during the event, then racing will be suspended when the interval between visible lightning and thunder is 30 seconds or less. Marshals will be informed by the Senior Umpire that racing has been suspended and the marshals will instruct all crews to clear the water until the storm has passed. The Senior Umpire will decide when racing can re-commence following the storm.
J. Flooding/Strong Stream – Risk low
The Senior Umpire will stop racing if he decides that the river conditions are too dangerous or if the Conservators of the Cam so advise.
K. Illness – Risk low
Clubs are responsible for ensuring their rowers are aware of potential hazards, such as the possibility of catching Weil's disease in the event of a rower falling in the water. There is a reliance on crews to know of any pre-existing medical condition to a rower and the required treatment. Marshals will summon assistance on the radio. Other crews will not be penalised if they stop to render assistance in the event of a serious medical issue with a member of another crew etc.
To download a copy of the Risk Assessment click here.
© Cambridgeshire Rowing Association.