OURCs Captains' Meeting Minutes

7th Week, Michaelmas Term 2003

1) Minutes of the previous meeting

These were ratified as an accurate record of the proceedings.

2) Matters arising

a) Purchase of scull for capsize drills
Andrew Weaver (OURCs) reported that he had looked into three options for purchasing a scull: i) a second-hand one for £700 or £800; ii) a very cheap old one which the boatmen could reinforce; iii) a new boat which could be ordered as reinforced and would cost £1,000 plus VAT. He considered that a cheap boat wouldn't last and be worth purchasing so we would have to buy a new one.

David Locke (OURCs treasurer) reported that we currently could not afford either option as this would reduce the already scarce funds which we had to give the squads. Therefore he suggested not buying one this year. This was not discussed further.

Jen Thomson (OURCs secretary) pointed out that capsize drills are not mandatory and unlikely to be made so. Swimming tests, however, may be made mandatory very soon, possibly before Torpids. So colleges that haven't should organise tests soon.

b) Prize schemes for Isis Winter League
Emily Baldock (OURCs) pointed out that a number of points systems had been devised for the IWL which rewarded participation and success. She asked captains to look at these via the OURCs website as eventually it would be a good idea to award a trophy to the most successful college each year.

3) Squad news

Currently have 20 rowers and four coxes in the squad. The Fours Head results were disappointing compared with Cambridge, but the erg champ results were good. The squad was going to Switzerland for cross-training and then to Spain for training camp and boat selection.

Currently have 22 in the squad. Disappointed with the Fours Head results as the top boat didn't race and the second boat crashed. However, the results don't reflect the actual strength in the squad. Didn't attend erg champs in order to save money, but erg scores are equivalent to last year (when OUWBC won the team prize). Planning to go to Hazlewinkle for training camp then have boat selection in January.

Have 23 rowers and 3 coxes in the squad. Three boats in the Fours Head which did pretty well. Didn't attend the erg champs but current scores are on a par with CULRC. Will have Trial Eights at Henley.

Small squad of just 11 rowers. One boat in Fours Head did pretty well. 2k scores are marginally better than last year. Will be going to Wallingford Head. Planning to go to Hazlewinkle for training camp then have boat selection in January.

4) Statement from OUCS (Oxford University Coxing Society) regarding the distribution of senior coxes

Alex MacDonald reported that Rachel Quarrell was recommending that captains be more lenient in the coming year as regards the transfer of senior coxes between colleges when typically not allowed. This year there has been an influx of senior coxes, but only at a small number of colleges. These coxes, if not transferred, will end up coxing second and third eights. It would be preferable for them to be coxing first eights in the top divisions for colleges which have no senior cox. This would be subject to a veto by the college from which the cox was being transferred.

In answer to questions, AM noted that the reason for not having a rule change is that this situation will not necessarily be the same next year, and captains are still expected to look at each transfer on its individual merits. Any transfer would be permanent but could be annulled the following year (with the same leniency being shown by the captains). In order to avoid colleges getting a senior cox in, rather than training up their experienced coxes, colleges would have to carefully justify any transfer. This leniency is not intended to apply to rowers.

5) Lights – announcement from the Treasurer

David Locke noted that there had been a large number of fines this term for not having lights. Colleges were reminded that they must have lights and that two lights for every outing were still cheaper than one fine.

Jen Thomson noted that launches should also be properly lit with green and red lights on the sides as well as white ones at the front and back.

6) Christ Church regatta – announcements

The first day of racing had been successful. However, there had been a number of klaxons so captains were asked to ensure that all coxes were competent and didn't row into the transit lane. Also need to take care crossing to OUBC – any crew ignoring the marshals would be disqualified. Lights must be on the boat if it is due to race at 2.00pm or later. Also, if racing was running late then crews should still boat at the correct time otherwise the regatta couldn't be made to run on time. NA finally, good luck to all crews racing tomorrow!

Stuart Jones (ourcs) asked that the position of some of the buoys be reconsidered. This was agreed as the line for the crews on the City side were a little tight.

Liz Nixon (ARA Regional Safety Advisor) noted that as there had been a collision the regatta organisers had to report it within 24 hours. This was being done.

LM asked whether OURCs could still fine for things like no lights as the regatta's only powers were disqualification.

JT replied that this was possible if a committee member saw something wrong.

EB asked that if the regatta marshals saw poor coxing they should report it. We might not fine in that situation but we could give a warning to the cox. This applies to captains generally – please report dangerous coxing to us so we can make sure it doesn't happen again.

Liz Nixon pointed out that as much of the blame for novice coxes lay with the coaches who didn't take seriously their responsibility for ensuring that coxes were in the correct part of the river.

7) Motions

a) Delete R10.1 ('For normal training outings crews must boat from and land at stages on the City side of the river pointing upstream, and must boat from the County side of the river pointing downstream.') and replace with: 'For normal training outings crews must boat from and land at stages on the City side of the river pointing upstream, and must boat from the OUBC raft pointing downstream. Crews may boat and land from Long Bridges, and land at OUBC, either upstream or downstream so long as it does not interfere with other crews.'

Proposed: Katharine Pierce (St Catz); Seconded: Evan Burfield (St Catz)

KP Pointed out that it was safer for crews to land and boat upstream, especially as there is the possibility at Long Bridges of drifting towards a weir. Also, it was pointless to go all the way to the Head if there was no-one else around.

Andrew Weaver (OURCs) pointed out that it was only safer to land upstream when no crews were around.

The motion was passed overwhelmingly.

b) Keep above change, but add: 'Crews who do cause an obstruction or hindrance by landing or boating against the stream at Long Bridges or OUBC will be judged to have committed a major transgression and penalised accordingly.'

Proposed: Rachel Quarrell; Seconded: Emily Baldock (OURCs)

EB stressed that the purpose of this amendment was to ensure that all colleges us their common sense when deciding which way round to land. This also applied to the OUBC raft.

JT pointed out that the ability to land upstream was only to be used for safety reasons, not for a crew's convenience because they needed to finish an outing early.

The motion was passed overwhelmingly.

c) Insert 'or in an accompanying launch,' after the word 'bank,' in R 6.6 ('Coxes with “novice” status may not take part in an outing without the presence of a coach on the bank, who shall be held responsible for the safety of the crew.')

Proposed: David Locke (OURCs); Seconded: Alex MacDonald (OURCs)

EB pointed out that crews with novice coxes at Godstow were currently in breach of the rules if the coach was in a launch rather than on the bank. The former makes more sense, however, as the coach is nearer the boat in a launch. The motion is intended to remedy this discrepancy.

The motion was passed overwhelmingly.

8) Transfers

a) Katherine Sharrocks from Linacre to Merton (was a student at Merton, now at Linacre). Typically allowed.

Proposed: Sian Alexander (Merton); Seconded: Russell Ewings (Merton)

Passed overwhelmingly.

b) Elizabeth Burley from no college to Wolfson (she was a student at Wolfson and is now a University research assistant who has been in continuous possession of a bod card). Typically allowed.

Proposed: Wendy Storr (Wolfson); Seconded: Alastair Gemmell (Wolfson)

Passed overwhelmingly.

c) Joanna Lim from Osler/Brasenose to Exeter (was an undergrad at Exeter, now a clinical medic at Brasenose College). Typically allowed.

Proposed: Rebecca Ting (Exeter); Seconded: Sam Graham (Exeter)

Passed overwhelmingly.

d) Amy Burchell from New to Osler-Green (she is a student at New, but also a clinical medic therefore entitled to row for either club. However, she last year chose to row with New as Osler were not training. She now wishes to row for Osler). Typically not allowed.

Proposed: Laura Blackmore (Osler); Seconded: Victoria Sherman (Osler)

LB explained that the Osler captains last year were very disorganised so many rowers had chosen to row for their college instead. They now wished to row for Osler who were more organised this year, and could accommodate rowers leaving Oxford for eight weeks on rotation.

EB explained the relevant rules regarding Osler rowers being able to choose to row for either their college or Osler, but having to stick to that choice. It was not helpful to colleges if Osler rowers simply chopped and changed from one to the other depending on how good Osler were going to be that year. The captains should be wary of setting a precedent that could affect other colleges in future.

AW pointed out that as a PGCE student he had timetable problems, but there was no special dispensation for education students.

The New College captains stressed that they had no problems with this transfer or the next one, but that captains should consider the overall principle.

LB noted that if Osler could get a good squad this year then the problem should not arise again next year. The Osler captains were now fully conversant with the rules and would make sure that their rowers understood that they had to permanently choose between Osler and their college.

Votes for: 26; against: 8; abstentions: 17
Motion passed.

e) Victoria Sherman from New to Osler-Green (she is a student at New, but also a clinical medic therefore entitled to row/cox for either club. However, she last year chose to cox for New. She now wishes to cox for Osler, and she is the Osler men's captain). Typically not allowed.

Proposed: Laura Blackmore (Osler); Seconded: Victoria Sherman (Osler)

Stuart Jones (OURCs) pointed out that last year VS had validly coxed for New in Torpids but had then coxed for Osler in Eights without requesting a transfer. If this had been realised by the entries secretary at the time then Osler should have suffered technical bumps. However, she could have coxed as an associate so it was the entry that was incorrect rather than the composition of the crew as such.

VS explained this had happened because she had not known the relevant rules and thought it was allowed.

JT pointed out that it is the captains' responsibility to read and understand the rules, and that Eights entries have to be in over a week in advance of racing so there is plenty of time to decide who is eligible to row/cox.

AM pointed out that VS is a senior cox so, as New don't object, she should be transferred under the new policy of leniency as regards transfers.

Votes for: 21; Against: 14; Abstentions: 21
Motion defeated for failing to get either a 2:1 majority of votes for and against, or an overall majority of those present and able to vote.

f) Katie Richardson from Blackfriars to Wolfson (members of Blackfriars row with St Benet's but they only have a men's boat so she wishes to row with Wolfson instead. She has no bod card). Typically not allowed.

Proposed: Wendy Storr (Wolfson); Seconded: Ali Gemmell (Wolfson)


9) Annulment of transfers

a) Lyndsey Highton from Osler-Green to St Catherine's (she was an undergrad at Catz and then a postgrad at Green, but transferred back to Catz last year. She now wishes to row for Osler-Green this year so the transfer needs to be annulled).

Proposed: Laura Blackmore (Osler); Seconded: Victoria Sherman (Osler)

Passed overwhelmingly.

b) Liz Ledger from Osler-Green to St Hilda's (she was an undergrad at St Hilda's and is now a postgrad at Green. She was transferred at the last captains' meeting without her consent and wishes the transfer to be annulled).

Proposed: Morvern Porteous (Hilda's); Seconded: Laura Blackmore (Osler)

EB reminded captains that they shouldn't transfer students without their consent and that they must get permission from the current college captain before requesting a transfer.

Passed overwhelmingly.

10) Resignations

Jen Thomson as OURCs Secretary as from the end of Michaelmas term – she will continue to deal with matters throughout the holidays, but not once Hilary term begins.

JT pointed out that there was no-one currently willing to run Torpids, though next terms IWLs would go ahead as planned. She asked all college captains to see if there were any willing ex-captains/treasurers etc who had some free time and talk them into it. It would be possible for someone to agree to run Torpids but not Eights, and she had organised as much as possible in advance so the job would not be too difficult.

11) Elections

a) Filipe Abdalla (Queens) to ordinary member

Proposed: Will Goundry (Queens); Seconded: Abi Stevenson (Queens)

Passed overwhelmingly.

b) Jennifer Thomson (New) to ordinary member

Proposed: Emily Baldock (OURCs); Seconded David Locke (OURCs)

Passed overwhelmingly.

12) AOB

a) JT noted that the IWL had lost lots of money so entry fees next term would rise from £10 per college, to £15 per college. This was still very good value.

It was also necessary to raise Torpids entry fees to £40 per crew as the cost of radio hire etc had risen. The captains consented to this change overwhelmingly.

b) Liz Nixon explained that she was the ARA's regional safety advisor and was responsible for ensuring that clubs conformed to the water safety code. The ARA could impose financial penalties on clubs that failed to conform and, in serious cases, could ban an entire club from the water. However, she is also there to advise and give information out to clubs.

LN was concerned that much of the poor novice coxing she had seen this term was actually the responsibility of the coach who should be ensuring that their coxes are in the correct part of the river. Further, no coach on the island side should leave a novice cox spinning at the Head whilst running round from one side to the other. There should be two coaches – one on each side of the river.

LN noted that it is now a part of the ARA's renewal procedure that clubs send the ARA the annual self-audit form directly. This had to be done by 31st December and clubs should have received/would shortly receive the form. It was also available on the ARA's website. Any non-return would be chased up by LN and refusal to submit one would result in penalties. Further, the OURCs sec would be informed of any non-submission and Torpids entries would not be allowed if the form had not been returned.

LN is happy to answer any queries by e-mail – the address can be found on the OURCs website.

c) Will Goundry (Queen's) pointed out that a number of crews (including one being coached by the Captain of Coxes) were boating more than one hour before sunrise. This was an unfair advantage.

JT pointed out that crews weren't being fined for this as most of the OURCs committee were not boating that early and therefore not around at the relevant times.

LN pointed out that there is no point in going out that early as a coach cannot see what you are doing and a cox cannot steer unless sufficiently senior that s/he knows the river by feel.

WG asked that the members of OURCs be more professional when following the rules and sending out e-mails etc.

d) Lincoln requested that the fines page be updated more frequently.

David Locke (OURCs treasurer) noted that there had been some technical difficulties with the website, but that all fines had now been updated.

Meeting closed 9:26

Date and time of next meeting: Wednesday 21st January (1st week), 8.00pm, BSTL St Catz.