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HowTo: Spin at Longbridges

Longbridges is a more complicated area than the Head or at Haystacks, since boats here can be transiting the gut, boating, landing, or spinning.


(diagram 1)


The red area denotes the gut, and the central grey line the middle of the river. Boats should at all times stick to the correct circulation pattern (ie to the right hand side of the river).

We choose to divide this section of the river up as follows:

(diagram 2)


Boats that wish to go through the gut go down the orange lane. This is known as the ‘’transit lane’’. The transit lane is wholly to the right-hand side of the river. Boats that wish to spin hug the bank closely.

If a boat wishes to go through the gut, the coxswain should enter the transit lane at a suitable point, and take the corner as best as they can. If a boat wishes to spin, it should easy around the pontoon at Longbridges.

Key principles:
1. Spin safely and efficiently
2. Never obstruct another boat

Consider two occasions on the river.

First of all, take 3pm on a weekday. The river is very quiet, and there will only be 2 or 3 other boats out. Provided that you obstruct no other boats, you may meander in to the transit lane while spinning. If a boat does approach, you must back yourself down underneath the bridges and give way to the transiting boat. Once you have spun about 150 degrees, and your bows are pointing to the direction you want to head to, you may stop spinning. Check both ways that it is clear (remember: boats may emerge from the mouth of the gut with very little warning) and then when there is a big enough gap to cross, move over. Remember to take in to account the ability of your crew when calculating safe gaps.

Second, consider 7am on a weekday morning. The river is packed, and there will often be a queue of boats waiting to spin. However, the same principles apply. Form an orderly queue, making sure you don’t get too close to any crews docked at the pontoon. One or two boats may spin simultaneously, provided there is enough room to do so. If no boats are in the transit lane, crews may use it to spin. However, in the likely event of crews entering the gut, spinning crews must spin with a much smaller turning circle – often having the cox and stern pair underneath the bridges. Providing you do not obstruct crews travelling either way, how and where you choose to spin is up to you.