Welcome to the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association

The association is the umbrella organisation for all local affiliated rowing Clubs in the county of Cambridgeshire. It looks after the interests of the local rowing community as well as providing facilities and events for them. 

On this site you will find links to websites for the affiliated clubs for the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association, news from local rowing clubs, and infomation and links to details of local rowing events.



Very recently, a collision between two VIII's at night, downstream of Ditton Corner, resulted in serious injuries to some rowers, which required hospital treatment.  This was in spite of both crews taking some precautions to prevent such a collision, AND in the presence of bank-party.  Because of this, we need to remind ALL CLUBS of the clauses in the Constitution of the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association that govern night-time rowing:  These state the following:

11.1 All clubs should conduct their rowing and sculling activities in accordance with the British Rowing Code of Practice on Water Safety.

At all times in poor visibility (i.e. after sunset and early morning) rowing and sculling boats shall have a white light fixed to the bow and to the stern and visible through 360 deg.

In addition a non flashing red light MUST also be fitted in the stern, to provide an indication of the direction of travel to observing crews. The use of high visibility clothing, particularly by bow, is also strongly recommended.

NOTE:  Lights should be fitted where indicated,  and not to riggers or head bands.  They should be of such a brightness and orientation that they will not dazzle approaching crews.

 At a meeting of the delegates of the CRA held on 13th January 2021 it was unanimously recommended that:

1. Crews should not go beyond Ditton Corner at night unless the ambient brightness (from the moon and stars) gives sufficient visibility, and weather conditions (eg fog) do not impede visibility.  

2. Crews should always be accompanied by someone on the bank who is both willing and able to shout warnings to crews. 

3. It is further recommended that a mobile phone is carried by at least one crewmember in case of emergency, and that a spare light is carried in case of light-failure 


Please ensure that your crews follow these recommendations for all outings conducted in low-light and night-time conditions.   We do not want to have to announce any more injuries (or worse) on our river that are the result of entirely avoidable accidents.






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CRA Tub and training-sculls - online booking

It is now possible to book the CRA tub and training-sculls online.  Go to the 'about' menu and select 'information - the booking link is on the bottom-left of the dropdown menu.  It can also be accessed here  



CRA Timed-Race 2021 - ENTRIES NOW OPEN

Entries are now invited for the 2021 CRA Time-Race.  This will take place on Thursday 9th July 2021 at 7:45pm, from the Plough to the P&E.  Details and entry-form my be foiund here:  




The date of the X-Press Head Race has been moved this year, after the feedback we received on the original timing (falling as it does in the middle of a university exam week this year).
We are intending to run the X-Press Head Race on Saturday 12 June, with divisions provisionally at 12:30pm and 2pm.  
Entries via our website here.
Please contact xpresshead@xpressbc.org.uk for enquires.



In follow up to the email of 17th May we have received feedback from multiple clubs regarding concerns about the results from 2021 counting towards 2022 starting order, particularly from clubs who have already identified that the 2021 entries will be lower than in a 'normal' year with mid-table crews missing from the line up.
As the decision on the results does not specifically effect how we run the event the bumps committee propose that at the delegates meeting on 10th June the delegates vote on this matter.  We suggest that each club ensures it has two delegates available at the meeting to vote on this, and to also vote on the dispensation applications.    Once this vote has decided whether the results count towards the 2022 starting order the bumps committee will run the event to this decision subject to the covid restrictions not changing ahead of the event.
  • We are currently planning to run bumps as normal under the normal rules, with headships being awarded and results counting towards 2022 starting positions.  Should covid restrictions prevent this happening in a fair and safe way we may change this nearer the time.  At this point you should be planning for a normal event.
  • The CUCBC event in June counts as the Mays - and therefore rule 2.5c applies to anyone taking part in this event.
  • Pay attention to rule 2.5 - even if people haven't raced Mays they need to have not competed for a non CRA club since 1st Jan.  If they have then a 2.6 dispensation will be required.  You can only have one 2.6 dispensation rowing in each boat. (read the rule - there are 2 exceptions to this)
  • Dispensations are due by 27th May. They should be requested here: 2021 Dispensation Request
All rules around eligibility will still apply in either situation, and dispensation requests must be submitted by end of day on Thursday 27th May (if you need the link please let me know). The dispensations will be distributed first thing Friday, and put on the CRA website, for your clubs consideration ahead of the meeting.
Cambridge '99 Rowing Club will be hosting their annual Spring Regatta on Sunday 30th May 2021.  We will be hosting the usual 8s races, but this year (and moving forward) we will be offering Quads for juniors.
This 1000 m side-by-side race up the Long Reach is an enjoyable day of racing for 8+ crews and also for juniors, Quads.

It is a fantastic way to nail those starts in advance of the regatta season and for college crews it is the perfect way to get some experience racing. Novices are welcome.
Depending on the weather, entries and age of the quads or novice crews, we may move the start making it safer and shorter for competitors.  Crew contacts will be informed closer to the time about this.

ENTRIES ARE OPEN NOW and more details about the event can be found here www.cambridge99.org/spring-regatta


CRA DIary for 2021-2022 now available

See here for details




UPDATE:  JANUARY 2021:  You will probably all have already seen British Rowing's guidance for clubs following the latest Lockdown announcement.  If not, here's the link via the Eastern Region website:   http://easternregionrowing.org.uk/2020/05/26/latest-covid19-news/
As you will note, all boathouses and indoor training facilities must now be closed.
Rowing is only possible if:
  • you can access your boat and the river without accessing the club (ie stored at home and launched from a public space);
  • without leaving your local area;
  • in a single or household/support bubble crew;
  • if the river authority permits recreational rowing.
There are no exemptions for junior rowing at the moment.  Anyone intending to go out on the water should consider their risk assessment, given the cold weather conditions. As a rowing community, we don't want to put extra pressure on emergency services having to rescue rowers or treat people for the effects of cold exposure.
Please make sure that all your club members are aware of the new rules.





As of today, the COVID-19 7-day infection rate in Cambridge is 417 / 100,000 - this is a 55% increase on last week.Winter League #1 is scheduled to take place in 14 days, but we think it is impossible for the event to happen.

The future of the February event also seems uncertain, and it may be that the March leg ends up being cancelled too.

We therefore plan to:

1. Cancel the January leg now

2. Refund any entries made for all three legs (10 crews)

3. Roll over any current entries for just the January leg to February, unless instructed otherwise by clubs (currently no crews in this position)

4. Aim to run the February and March legs, but only if Cambridge has been in Tier 1 or Tier 2 for at least 7 days before each event

5. Make enjoyment and participation the focus for any events that are run, by:a. Keeping entries open for up to three days before the event, b. Setting aside the trophies for fastest eights and fastest singles this year c. Marshalling the event with a focus on participant safety and enjoyment d. Inviting competitors to approach the event in the spirit of it being a “friendly fixture”6. We will be inviting each club to provide an indication of the number of crews that they would be likely to enter, so that we can identify whether there is likely to be demand for more than the 160 crews that we think we can accommodate. If this is the case we will provide guidance on entries to ensure they are fair and that people don’t feel pressured to enter now to secure a place


Entries for the Winter League are now open.  Please see HERE for details of the event, and the link for online entry.  Due to COVID-19 we are sadly having to restrict entries and make some changes to the way the event is run.  Our main goal is to ensure that as many people as want to get a row while keeping everyone safe.  The situation is obviously fluid and we will aim to be as responsive as flexible and as safe as we can.

           2021 dates are as follows:                              SUN 17 JANUARY             SUN 21 FEBRUARY            SUN 14 MARCH              

All days will have FOUR divisions:                           Div 1: 09:00           Div 2: 10:50            Div 3: 12:40             Div 4: 14:30


2021 Competitor Instructions can be downloaded from the CRA website HERE

THE WINTER LEAGUE is only open to clubs affiliated or co-opted to the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association.THE CRA AFFILIATION FEE OF £25.00/CO-OPTION FEE OF £12 MUST BE PAID BY THE TIME OF ENTRY Clubs will only be able to race if the fee has been paid prior to the event.

COVID-19 – Additional precautions will be in place to reduce the COVID-19 risk.  In line with guidance, each leg of the event will take place as long as Cambridge is in Tier 1 or Tier 2.  A day's event will not take place if Cambridge is in Tier 3 or Tier 4 for that day.  If this is the case OR if individual crews have to pull out of the race through needing to self-isolate. then refunds will be provided.  Please ensure that all your members understand) that all the previous covid-safety rules still apply during the events

TIER-4 ROWING ADVICE - December 26th onwards

What follows is based on analysis of the BR Guidance by Conor Burgess and Nick Siragher. We suggest that you read the BR Guidance itself for the full picture: https://www.britishrowing.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/201223-Managing-COVID-19-v9.pdf
CRA Boathouses are OPEN. The loos can be used in an emergency (please sanitise before and after use) but the changing rooms remain closed. Please obey all the distancing/face covering/sanitising rules. Please also remember to complete the User Form (and at Logan's Way, the outings booking calendar) each time and please let me know if you develop covid symptoms or test positive within 10 days of using the boathouse so I can notify any users with whom you might have overlapped:  bit/ly/cra-bh-use.
Only singles or household/bubble crews are permitted or one person rowing with one member of another household.
No-one should travel outside their Tier 4 area to go rowing or training. Juniors and adaptive rowers are now included in this travel restriction.
Junior and adaptive rowing is permitted, subject to BR's existing covid-secure protocols but only for those in the same Tier 4 area. BR recommends that clubs limit the application of this exemption and apply an appropriate risk assessment, to include risks to parents and coaches.
No competitions.






Subject to any unexpected changes,  from 2nd December the CRA Boathouses will re-open.
Please note (and ensure that all your members understand) that all the previous covid-safety rules apply including:
  • face coverings
  • distancing
  • sanitising (with individual clubs'/crews' own equipment and materials)
  • limiting numbers in each boathouse
  • emergency use only of the loos and changing rooms
  • no use of the hoses (note there is now a second tap in the Kimberley Road CRA)
  • completion of the CRA User forms for each use of the BH by each crew member. Here's the link for easy reference: bit.ly/cra-bh-use
  • completion (where relevant) of the Logan's Way calendar booking sheet
Could users of the Logan's Way CRA please check their recurring calendar bookings and ensure they are accurate.
Please note that the BR Guidance continues to be that the Rule of 6 applies at all times except while getting boats in and out of boathouses and actually training in them. So no hanging about in gangs on the Hard! We are very public while we're around the boathouses. Let's set a good example to all passers by.


Cambridge Sport Lakes

 Details of the proposed rowing-and-watersports facility just off the Cam between Mitlon and Waterbeach can now be found here:  Cambridge Sport Lakes proposal



As some of you will already have spotted, the lockdown news from British Rowing is, I am afraid, not good. Here's the link: 
While the details remain to be confirmed once the legislation has been passed on Wednesday, British Rowing are expecting a total lockdown on rowing at all club, school, and university levels.
We will, therefore, sadly, be closing the CRA boathouses again from Thursday 5th November - and will be expecting clubs to do the same. 
We hope that passing on this information now will allow clubs to make any necessary arrangements for the safe closing down of their boathouses.
As you will see from the British Rowing announcement, there are still some unanswered questions, for example about single sculls boating from public slipways and private land (with permission and subject to any rules set by navigation authorities) - we will try to update you on this once we have more information from British Rowing.
Please could you make sure all your club members are aware of (and comply with) the new rules.


Update: arrangements for Andy Johnson's funeral

Unfortunately, due to the present Covid-19 restrictions, numbers at the funeral must be restricted to 30.

Mike Hunter will represent the Cantabs, John Martin: Cambridge Veterans, Bill Key: CRA

The funeral will be on Thursday 22nd October at St Mary’s Church, Great Shelford at 10.30 am followed by burial at Shelford Cemetery.  A Memorial Service will be arranged in due course.

Donations to Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Cantabrigians Rowing Club (joint beneficiaries) via Andrew’s In Memory Page at www.peasgoodandskeates.co.uk

(or sent c/o  Peasgood & Skeates, 45 Moorefield Road, Duxford CB22 4PP, Tel: 01223 833463 )


Sad News


It is with a heavy heart that I pass on the very sad news that Andy Johnson died on Wednesday 7th October after a very long illness which he combatted with great fortitude.  Andy has done so much for local rowing over very many years.  He was heavily involved in the building of the two CRA boathouses which now house over 100 boats.

The Cantabrigian Rowing Club have much to thank him for. It was his decision to buy and develop their boathouse site but not with standing this he would have still been considered one of the most important members in the club’s history. His enormous  knowledge of rowing was applied to his coaching of Cantabs crews over many years. As a result they retained the headship in the Town Bumps over a long period and also had considerable success at Henley and other provincial regattas.

He was a Vice President of the CRA and also of the Cantabrigians who bestowed Honary Life Membership in 2010.  Although he was also Cantabs Club Captain for a number of years and Chair of their Rowing Committee it was his enthusiasm to get things done more than holding official positions that drove him on.  He was also an executive of British Rowing for some while and was able pass on much of his useful knowledge which included land acquisition and management.  Despite all these responsibilities he still found time to keep up his passion for sailing and he also to coach Clare College Boat Club crews.

For my part he has been a great friend for a long time particularly as I had rowed with him for 30 years as members of the Cambridge Veterans and we also worked on a number of rowing projects together.

I’m sure we will all miss the discussions we often had with him on numerous topics most of which  he would have his own very strong views.

I would like to pass on my condolences to Debbie and family who have made his last few months so tolerable.

Andy, you will be sadly missed by all of us.

Bill Key

President, Cambridgeshire Rowing Association.




Please find details here of river restriction taking place from Monday to Friday, 19th to 20th October 2020 by the new jetty.

Bear in mind that the width of an eight with oars is 7 metres so take care as only one crew will be able to pass through the restricted channel at a time.

“Dolphins” is a fancy name for fenders!  

As you are aware the works to install the new cycle bridge at Chesterton are ongoing. The Conservancy and the County Council have worked hard to ensure that there has been minimal disruption to the navigation of vessels on the river. It was agreed that any significant disruption to the navigation would occur outside of term time, as it was agreed by all parties that rowing, in particular, would be most at risk from restrictions at the new bridge location. As part of the program of works, the County Council need to install Dolphins upstream and downstream of the new jetty to help protect it and vessels from coming into contact.

The County Council have requested that they be allowed to install the Dolphins within term time if at all possible. They have provided provisional dates for starting works on the 19th or the 26th of October with an anticipated duration of 6 working days (Monday to Friday excluding weekends). To carry out the works the contractor requires the use of a floating pontoon which will take up approximately half of the available width of the river at the bridge site, leaving at all times a minimum of 12 meters of open navigation. It is envisaged that the pontoon will remain in situ for the duration of the works Monday to Friday, being stored at the Pike and Eel over the weekend and being brought back into position to complete the works the following Monday.



OLD CRA (Kimberley Road) boathouse  - upstream-bay roller-doors out of action

 Please note that the roller-doors to the most upstream bay of the old CRA boathouse are currently (20 August) not working.  Urgent replacement of these has been arranged by the CRA committee, and approved by the trustees, and new electrically-powered shutter-doors will be fitted.  No details of the timescale for the work to be completed are yet available, but it will be completed as soon as practically possible.  In the meantime, any boats stored in the upstream bay of old CRA (principally sculling-boats, tub and IVs) will not be available for use, unless your club has made alternative racking arrangements pro-tem.



 The timetable for the work on the new-bridge jetty has been updated.  Work to install the jetty carrying the cyclepath on the Ditton side will occur btween 15 and 26 August, according to the timetable to be found here:  https://www.greatercambridge.org.uk/transport/transport-projects/chisholm-trail   Note that the river (and occasionally the towpath) will be closed to boats and people for several periods within this timeframe - please check before planning outings and/or coaching

NOTE: the installation of the actual bridge will now be delayed until LATE OCTOBER (likely 24-25-26 Oct) - the bridge is heavy enough to require one of the largest cranes in the UK to lift it into position, and someone in the project apparently forgot to book it. 




 Between 20 July and 16 August (with a possible additional 5-day contingency, and a possible extra 3-day delay, meaning 24 August), the main installation work for the new cycle-bridge next to the railway bridge will be executed.  There will be various river-closures during this period (variously daytime 8am-6pm and night-time 6pm-8am), and some closures of Fen Road.  All the details of these can be found here:  https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKGCP/bulletins/2959e8d , together with information on the planned opening-dates for the new jetty and bridge, and contact details for the liason managers.   Please take note of the intended closure-dates and plan accordingly.  







Black Lives Matter


 The object of the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association is the promotion of community participation in healthy recreation, in particular by the provision of facilities for participants in the sport of rowing by assisting in the organisation of local affiliated rowing clubs in the county of Cambridgeshire and managing the interests of the local rowing community providing information and the organisation of events.


There is no place for racism in rowing.  The Association has been in existence for over 150 years and during that time each of the individual clubs have opened their membership to all, regardless of race, creed or gender.   None of the constituent clubs will tolerate discrimination of any kind towards members.  If the CRA learns of such discrimination, it will immediately take serious issue with those responsible and would expect the unhesitating support of their club, and of all the other constituent clubs in doing so.  At present, we are not aware of any such.

Whilst we do not consider the organisation of protest events to be within the purview of the CRA, we wish to express our sympathy with and support for victims of discrimination everywhere


 Bill Key

President, Cambridgeshire Rowing Association.






On 22 May, the CRA official guidance on using the CRA boathouses changed in line with government and British Rowing advice..  Subject to the conditions below, the CRA boathouses will open again for use on Thursday 28th May, following a preparatory deep-clean.  Use of boats must follow your club's own rules on boating.  Please read the advice below.  

All users please note that you use the boathouses at your own risk, and that your use puts others at risk


It is not possible for the CRA to eliminate the risk of the spread of the Covid-19 virus, but we can minimise the risk if everyone takes responsibility not only for their own safety but for that of other users and their households.It is not possible for the CRA to eliminate the risk of the spread of the Covid-19 virus, but we can minimise the risk if everyone takes responsibility not only for their own safety but for that of other users and their households.User clubs will have agreed different policies for the use of their own equipment. Please comply fully with your own club’s safety rules; the guidance from British Rowing; and government guidance about social distancing and exercise, in addition to the usual Row Safe guidance.

Those using the CRA boathouses must comply with the following rules





NOTE: There may be sanitiser, wipes, and paper towels available in the CRA but there will not be anyone ‘on duty’ to clean or sanitise the building or the equipment or able to check the availability of sanitising materials at all times


  • No-one may use the CRA boathouses without express permission from their Club
  • No-one may use the CRA boathouses without express permission from their Club
  • Do not come to the boathouse if you feel unwell
  • Bring your own sanitiser and use it. While all users are required to sanitise adequately after their outings, you are advised to assume that they have not done so and should sanitise for your own protection
  • Wear a suitable face-covering at all times while in the boathouse before and after your outing
  • Logan’s Way only: Sanitise your hands before unlocking the gate. Use the pedestrian gate, and you must re-lock the gate behind you, so it remains locked whilst you are on the water
  • Sanitise your hands before unlocking the door and entering the boathouse• Arrive changed and ready for your outing
  • Do not use the changing rooms or toilets except in an emergency. If you have to use them, wipe down all surfaces with sanitiser afterwards
  • Keep at least 2m distance from any other user (unless they are members of your own household). If this means delaying your outing, be patient
  • Use only the equipment which you have been allocated by your club. You may want to sanitise it before you use it
  • Register your use of the boathouse at https://bit.ly/cra-bh-use to enable contact tracing in the event of any user becoming ill. Owners of private boats must also sign in and out in the same way
  • Close the doors while you are out on the water to prevent access by third parties
  • Wipe down with sanitiser all equipment you have used (including trestles, door mechanisms etc)
  • Sanitise your hands before leaving the boathouse and re-sanitise the door handle
  • Be vigilant. If you see other users not complying with the rules, please remind them to do so (and report them if necessary)
  • Contact the Boathouse Manager and your User Club contact immediately if you become illwith Covid-19 like symptoms within 2 weeks of using the boathouse

If anyone is spotted disregarding these safety rules, the boathouses will be closed again for at least a week to allow for decontamination, in the interests of the safety of all users. ACCESS TO THE CRA BOATHOUSES MAY BE REVOKED AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE



Boathouse Managers: 

Logan’s Way - Conor Burgess: burgess.conor@gmail.com

Kimberley Road -   Nick Siragher: nicksiragher@gmail.comCRA

Secretary - Jo Burch: camrowassociationsecretary@gmail.com



















Please note that the doors of both the CRA Boathouses are in effect closed and that no rowing craft including small boats can be taken onto the water.
If you own a sculling boat and are not a member of a local club or British Rowing this also includes you.
The official British Rowing line is:  "We have updated our FAQs on coronavirus and single sculling to be absolutely clear that all rowing activity including single sculling should cease for the time being"
For advice on COVID-19 and how to avoid it, please see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/



Welfare of Swans and other wild life on the River C am

swanmaker opt

On Tuesday February a meeting was held between representatives of the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association, Cambridge University Combined Rowing Clubs, the River Manager, The Queen's Swan Marker (David Barber) and Natural England to discuss in particular the welfare of swans and their cygnets during the University and Town Bumping Races.

It was a most useful meeting and recommneded measures will be taken to protect swans and their cygnets during bumping races. Guidelines for rowing clubs on the protection of wildlife on the river have been issued.











   The Bumps



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