Archived Version

This version updated: 17:11 03/07/2011

View Current Version (11:47 08/09/2011) | Return to Page History

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 obey two main principles:

  • Spin safely and efficiently
  • Never obstruct another boat

If the river is quiet, you are at little risk of obstructing another boat. This is the procedure you should follow:

  • Instruct your crew to easy when you are halfway along the pontoon. Instruct your stroke side rowers to hold it up. If you are really close to the bank, just get stroke and 6 to hold it up, as this will swing the bows around; conversely, if you are close to the centre of the river, get 2 and 4 to hold it up, as this will kick out your stern and point it under the bridges.
  • Get your crew to start spinning. Get stroke side to do slightly more backing down than bow side are rowing on (remember: bow side will be more powerful as they are rowing normally). You should aim to have your (the coxswain's) seat under the bridges.
  • Unless the transit lane is clear, at no point should your bows meander in to the transit lane.
  • Once you have spun about 150 degrees, stop. If you don't spin enough, you will have to spin further on the wrong side of the river, obstructing the gut. If you have spun too far, you will be aiming straight in to the transit lane.
  • Check that both sides are clear, and then order your crew to row on, preferably in sixes or all eight. Be aware that crews could emerge from the mouth of the gut at any time; you should not get in their way.