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B1. Dates

Unless resolved otherwise by a Captains' Meeting,

  1. Torpids shall be held from Wednesday to Saturday of 7th week of Hilary Term, except for those years in which it clashes with the Women's Eights Head when it shall be held from Wednesday to Saturday of 6th week of Hilary Term.
  2. Eights shall be held from Wednesday to Saturday of 5th week of Trinity Term.

B2. Divisions

Unless resolved otherwise by a Captains' Meeting or the Race Committee:

  1. Torpids shall consist of 6 Men's divisions and 5 Women's divisions. The top 5 Men's divisions and the top 4 Women's divisions shall be designated "Fixed Divisions" and the remainder "Rowing On Divisions".
  2. Eights shall consist of 7 Men's divisions and 6 Women's divisions, with the top 5 Men's divisions and the top 4 Women's divisions designated "Fixed Divisions", and the remainder "Rowing On Divisions".
  3. Divisions shall consist of 12 boats, plus the "Sandwich Boat", except for the bottom divisions, which shall consist of 13 boats.
  4. Divisions to be raced in descending order numerically (division 1 being the top division, and last division to race).
  5. The boat that finishes first in each division may row as "Sandwich Boat" at the bottom of the next highest division in the same day's racing.
  6. The boat finishing at the bottom of each division shall row at the head of the next lowest division the next day.
  7. Men's divisions 1, 2 and 3, and Women's divisions 1 and 2 shall be designated "Senior Divisions".
  8. All boats competing shall be stern-coxed Eights.

B3. Eligibility

In addition to the general entry requirements for OURCs events listed in G4:

  1. University squad rowers and coxes are not allowed to compete in Torpids if they have been selected for a Boat Race crew (this does not include designated spares), or if, in the instance of their squad not having made its selection before Torpids, they are still in contention for a seat in a crew.
  2. No person may row in two crews or cox two crews, although it is permitted to row in one crew and cox another. This does not include crews which have failed to row on under rule B5.
  3. All crewmembers must be listed as having passed on the OURCs swim test database.

B4. Associate Members

'Associate Members' of College Boat Clubs may row in bumps races subject to the following restrictions:

  1. Each College is permitted a maximum of three Associate Members in its Men's crews and three in its Women's crews.
  2. Associate Members may only compete in Rowing On crews, unless a College has no Rowing On crews, in which case they may compete in the College's lowest boat, provided it is not in a Senior Division, including the Sandwich Boats, at the start of the competition.
  3. If a College's lowest crew is in a Senior Division, Associate Members may still be used if specific permission is given by a Captains' Meeting.  All other Associate Member rules must still be followed.
  4. Anyone wishing to appear as an Associate Member for one College who is eligible to appear for another College must have the signed written permission of both College Captains concerned, specifically given for that event/regatta.
  5. Associate Members must be indicated as such on the Entry Form.

B5. Rowing On

In the event of there being more entries than places available, crews not assigned places in the Fixed Divisions will be required to qualify by 'Rowing On'

  1. Rowing On races shall be held as an OURCs event under the jurisdiction of the Race Committee with the powers defined in G2.
  2. Rowing On races shall normally take place on the Friday preceding the bumps races.
  3. Rowing On races shall be timed rows with a rolling start, measured from Longbridges raft to a semaphore placed approximately midway between Univ Boathouse and the Head, with the fastest crews to qualify.
  4. Crews being overtaken during Rowing On are required to give way. Failure to do so may result in a time penalty.
  5. Crews impeded by other craft during Rowing On may be awarded a time bonus.
  6. In the event of crews having an equal time and if this affects the starting order, the crews involved may organise a private rerow and notify the Race Committee of the result.
  7. Crews failing to Row On shall be refunded half their entry fee.
  8. All members of crews succeeding in Rowing On, irrespective of whether they were properly entered as part of that crew, shall be subject to the restrictions of rule B3.2 as if they were a bona fide part of that crew.
  9. Rowing On results shall become finalised on midnight of the following day, after which no further appeals will be considered and the Race Committee shall resolve any remaining ties by ballot.

B6. Withdrawals

  1. The Race Secretary should be notified, in writing, of any withdrawals.
  2. Any crew withdrawn prior to midnight before Rowing On, or, in the absence of Rowing On races, prior to the Friday before the bumps race starts, shall be refunded their full entry fee, and regarded as 'not entered'.
  3. Provided no lower crews of the same sex from the same College Boat Club are entered, Fixed Division crews that were 'not entered' shall be reinserted 6 places lower in the Starting Order for the following year in Torpids, 4 places lower in the Starting Order for Eights. If lower crews of the same sex from the same College Boat Club ARE entered, Fixed Division crews that were not entered will NOT BE REINSERTED.
  4. In the event of a crew withdrawn after the deadline in B6.1, but before the Starting Order is finalised, the crew shall be removed entirely from the Starting Order and NOT REINSERTED THE FOLLOWING YEAR, all other crews moved up one place and the fastest crew failing to Row On shall be invited to start at the bottom of the lowest division.
  5. In the event of the Senior Umpires permitting early or late withdrawals from bumps races on safety grounds, arising from a significant loss of river time to colleges, such crews will maintain their places in the following year's Starting Order without penalty. A request for such a withdrawal must be made in writing and signed by the club captain.
  6. Crews withdrawing after the Start Order is finalised, or failing to boat for their race are withdrawn from the competition and not reinserted the following year. Crews in the division are moved up one place and a bungline left empty at the bottom of the division for the day's racing. In the Start Order for the following day all other crews are moved up one place and the fastest crew failing to Row On shall be invited to start at the bottom of the lowest division.
  7. If a crew fails to boat for its race, it shall be regarded as having withdrawn from the competition.
  8. The Race Committee may decide to allow a crew to withdraw for one day of racing.
    1. In Eights, the withdrawn crew's bungline is left empty and the crew subject to a technical bump as in B11.
    2. In Torpids, the crew may be reinserted the following day a number of places lower by the discretion of the Race Committee based on the reasons for withdrawal. Other crews in the division are moved up one place and a bungline left empty at the bottom of the division for the day's racing.

B7. Starting Order

A Provisional Starting Order shall be prepared by the Race Committee as soon as possible after the Rowing On races and shall be circulated to all College Captains.

  1. Having moved up all crews to fill spaces caused by crews not entering or withdrawn under B6.1, the order shall be:
    1. The finishing order of the previous year's Fixed Divisions,
    2. The finishing order of the previous year's Rowing On Divisions for those boats succeeding in qualifying.
    3. New entries succeeding in qualifying, in random order, determined by drawing lots.
    4. Crews from each College Boat Club shall be numbered sequentially in the first day's starting order, regardless of their designations in the previous year's finishing order or their Rowing On finishing positions.
  2. Unless Captains request otherwise, their crews in the Rowing On divisions will be allocated places in order of qualifying speed.
  3. The starting order shall be finalised at midnight before each day's racing, until which time the provisional starting order may be amended in the event of further withdrawals.

B8. Starting Procedure

  1. Each boat shall be started from a rope 50 feet in length, held by the coxswain, the other end of the rope to be fastened to a post on the towpath.
  2. The distance between each starting post shall be 130 feet.
  3. Divisions in bumping races shall be raced at intervals of not less than 25 minutes and not more than 45 minutes (unless safety dictates otherwise).
  4. Not less than five minutes before the start of the division, the Senior Umpire shall order the firing of the 'Five Minute Gun'.
  5. Four minutes later, or later if safety dictates, the Senior Umpire shall order the firing of the 'One Minute Gun'.
  6. One minute later, another gun shall be fired to signal the start.
  7. If the Starting Gun has not fired within seventy seconds from the One Minute Gun the Senior Umpire will notify crews that the sequence of guns shall be repeated from the One Minute Gun.
  8. For a race to be deemed to have taken place, 10 of the 13 boats must be attached to their bunglines when the Starting Gun is fired.

B9. Delays

  1. Delays, subject to B8.3, may be granted by the Senior Umpire provided that the request is delivered before the One Minute Gun.
  2. Crews needlessly causing the start to be delayed are liable to be fined, at the discretion of the Senior Umpire.

B10. Bumps

  1. A bump shall be deemed to have taken place when:
    1. A boat touches any part of the boat in front of it, the term "boat" to include oars, rudder and crew; or
    2. When the coxswain of the leading boat acknowledges, by raising his arm, that a bump is inevitable; or
    3. When one boat rows clean by another.
  2. A boat shall be liable to be bumped until every part of it has crossed the finishing line.
  3. On achieving a bump, a boat ceases to be part of a race.
  4. In Eights Week, the boat bumped also ceases to be part of the race.

B11. Technical Bumps

The Race Committee may award technical bumps if a boat does not start in accordance with OURCs regulations.

  1. In the event of a technical bump, the division shall proceed as normal except that the offending crew shall lose one place.
  2. If the offending crew has attempted to start, any bumps gained by it shall be disallowed while any bumps gained on it shall stand.
  3. The Race Committee may choose not to award a technical bump in Torpids if they decide that a crew never intended to start, in which case the rest of the division shall proceed as normal save that the offending crew shall be placed at the bottom of the division.
  4. The crew benefiting from a technical bump may choose to decline it.

B12. Penalty Bumps

Penalty bumps may be awarded by the Race Committee in the event of dangerous conduct, illegal interference with other crews racing, or incompetence leading to a klaxon.

  1. The number of places lost through a penalty bump is at the discretion of the Race Committee
  2. Crews receiving penalty bumps shall automatically have any valid bump gained disallowed.
  3. Penalty bumps shall not be awarded until the crew involved has been invited to present their case, and shall follow the disputes procedure G8.
  4. Any crew that causes a race to be klaxoned due to reasons that do not relate to the actions of another crew should be given a penalty bump (for example due to rudder failure or a person entering the water).
  5. Penalty or racing bumps shall not be awarded against crews that, after gaining a bump, continue to race safely due to reasonable uncertainty over whether or not the bump had occurred

B13. Row-Overs

The Race Committee may disallow otherwise valid bumps and award row-overs to the crews involved in the following circumstances:

  1. Bumps on crews that were only caught due to unavoidable external influences shall be disallowed.
  2. Boats that have had bumps disallowed shall be awarded row-overs unless they have also accumulated penalty bumps.
  3. Boats easying under a reasonable misapprehension that they have gained a bump may be awarded a row-over. In Eights week, boats easying under a reasonable misapprehension that they have been bumped may be awarded a row-over, otherwise all boats are expected to complete the course where possible. The decision in such situations will be entirely at the discretion of the Race Committee.
  4. Over bumps shall stand despite crews in between subsequently being awarded row-overs.

B14. Finishing Order

The finishing order of a division shall be:

  1. In Torpids, the order in which the remaining boats cross the finishing line except that all boats achieving a bump shall be placed above the boat bumped.
  2. In Eights, the same as the starting order except that the two boats involved in each bump shall exchange places.

B15. Stopping Racing

In the event of a klaxon sounding during a race,

  1. All boats shall cease racing immediately.
  2. Bumps gained prior to the klaxon shall stand. Any bumps after the first klaxon sounding anywhere on the course are not counted irrespective of whether crews involved have heard it or not.
  3. Crews still racing when the klaxon sounded shall be awarded a row-over.

B16. Cyclists

  1. During every day of Torpids, and the first three days of Summer Eights, each crew may only have one bank rider cycling alongside them, unless with the permission of the Race Secretary and the Senior Umpire.
  2. On the Saturday of Summer Eights, cycling is banned on the towpath from bungline 13 to the Head.

B17. Equipment

  1. Oars with sharp protrusions on the spoons are not permitted.