OURCs Captains' Meeting Minutes

1st Week, Hilary Term 2004

Before the meeting there was a talk given by John Wilson, head of marketing at Concept 2 about the possibility of running an indoor rowing event in Oxford. It was requested that captains put forward their views on the event on the newsgroup or message-board on the OURCs website.

1) Minutes of the previous meeting

These were ratified as an accurate record of the proceedings.

2) Matters arising

a) Swim Tests
Nicky Fawcett (OURCs safety advisor) noted that all colleges would have to organise a swim test and submit a copy of their safety audit (signed by the senior member) and constitution before being allowed to enter Torpids. There was a question as to how mandatory swim tests were. Emily Baldock (OURCs) explained that although the ARA did not make swim tests mandatory it was strongly recommended. As the University pool was now open and so swim tests are much easier to organise than in the past, OURCs wanted to get college boat clubs used to the idea of organising swim tests, even if it was not possible this year to get every rower/cox tested. Jen Thomson (OURCs) noted that it was possible that we would make swim tests mandatory for every rower in the next couple of years and that it was therefore advisable for clubs to get as many tested now as possible.

3) Squad news

Sam McClennan was not present to give a report.

Sarah Waldron reported good results at Wallingford Head with Osiris entering the fastest three eights. There was a good camp in Hazlewinkle over the New Year and trial times were reasonable. The squad was currently seat racing and would announce crews in the next couple of weeks.

Jeni Tod reported that the lightweights had a good trial eights race and training camp in the south of France. Boat selection would take place in the next couple of weeks.

Rachel Abbott was away training so her report was delivered by Sarah Waldron. After a successful training camp in Belgium, final crew selection was made at the weekend. This will be the most experienced crew in the club’s history, with five previous boat race victories (four lightweight and one Osiris) and a Women’s Henley gold medallist in the boat. In the run-up to the boat race there are plans to compete at Henley Fours Head and the Women’s HoR as well as several private matches.

4) Minutes of an OURCs committee meeting held on 18th January 2004

Emily Baldock informed the meeting that there were two decisions from the last committee meeting which required ratification by the captains.

a) Worcester/Somerville incident.
B explained that a Worc/Some mixed crew had gone out on Monday 12th Jan when the river was amber flag. Their crew consisted of a senior cox, three experienced rowers and five novices (of one term’s experience). Stuart Jones (OURCs) had questioned the crew’s experience and asked for a crew list. The list sent included four experienced rowers and four novices. EB was then accidentally copied an e-mail which said the list had been made up as the crew actually contained six novices (itself a mistake) and that ‘we’d have been shafted’ if the correct list had been sent. This came from one of the outing organisers, but someone who did not hold an official position within the club. Worcester’s senior member had become involved and the matter was put to the committee for a decision on what penalty to impose.

The committee decided that this did constitute an extreme transgression under R17 as this crew was banned during amber flag, and that a £100 fine should be imposed (to be split between the colleges). However, neither the crew nor boat club would be banned from the river or racing as the crew was very nearly senior and had not got into any difficulties.

It was questioned whether £50 per college was really an effective fine given that this was only equivalent to two outings without lights. There was also a question about the involvement of Alex MacDonald (OURCs captain of coxes) as he was also the crew’s coach.

Rachel Quarrell stated that she wished to disassociate herself from the decision taken by AM not to demote the cox in question and that Worcester would have to be very careful with the rules in future. She also recommended that in future the committee do not allow AM to make any decisions regarding crews with which he is involved.

RQ also pointed out that the assessment of coxes was very subjective and had to take into account any information given by the cox and captains themselves. This incident damaged the trust she and the committee had in captains’ ability to tell the truth about what happened.

It was proposed that the decision regarding penalties be reconsidered by the committee.

This was passed overwhelmingly.

EB explained that the committee would reconsider all the potential penalties, including the possibility of demoting or otherwise penalising the cox. There was no dissent from this statement.

b) Upgrades to Senior Status
EB noted that two colleges had requested that a crew be upgraded to senior status under R7.2, both of which had very experienced rowers, but only an experienced cox. EB reported that the committee had decided that no crews could be deemed to be of senior status which did not have a senior cox – this rule would only apply to un-coxed boats or, in exceptional circumstances, to crews with a rower without the requisite experience. Given the number of incidents in strong streams which had already occurred this term (including two crews negotiating locks on yellow boards and an eight getting into trouble at Longbridges) it was not felt appropriate to allow any cox other than a senior one to go out in amber flag. Also, for the committee to make that decision on paper would be to usurp the captain of coxes and RQ’s role as the proper persons to carry out water assessments.

This interpretation of the rule was ratified overwhelmingly.

EB also pointed out that colleges should get their requests for upgrades in now whilst the river was green flag and assessments could be carried out.

5) OUCS – coxing in dangerous conditions

RQ noted that she had made her point under the last part of the agenda.

6) Motions

a) Amend B1.1 to read:
'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.'

Proposed: Abi Stevenson (Queen’s); Seconded: Will Goundry (Queen’s)

AS noted that Queen’s women wished to enter the WHoR as this was an extra race to train for should Torpids be cancelled and that it was good to see Oxford colleges represented at such high-profile events.

JT argued that OURCs is supposed to promote inter-collegiate events, not outside events. Last year there were only 8 crews from 6 colleges represented – this compares badly with the 100-odd crews entering Torpids each year. The Tideway Heads are great races, but we should not be giving them priority over Torpids.

SJ pointed out that it would be difficult to train properly for both races.

Sophie Hart (OURCs) asked colleges not to vote against this if it were merely inconvenient for them, but only if they had a genuinely strong objection.

WG noted that the aim of the Heads is to take part – no college crew really expected to win. The men could enter the HoR so it was a shame to prevent the women entering the biggest women’s head race of the year.

EB noted that as someone organising Torpids there were still some difficulties in changing the date at this late stage, although OURCs had done its best to ensure that it was feasible. However, as a college rower she felt that the WHoR was an important event and that in future years it would be good for colleges to be able to enter.

SW pointed out that the squads liked to get people who had entered events like this as it generally improved the standard of rowing.

There was some further discussion about the possible adverse effects of a loss of a week’s training for Torpids and whether 7th week would then be productive. It was also noted that any crew which trains seriously for Eights could make good use of that extra week post-Torpids.

Emily Richards (New) pointed out that that the ability to move Torpids would highlight the existence of the event and encourage more colleges to enter.

EB explained, in response to a question, that it had proved unfeasible and too expensive to have a moveable Torpids (to get around flooding) so this rule change would not affect that.

It was suggested having separate votes for moving Torpids this year and in future years.

Vote to hold Torpids in 6th week in 2004

Motion rejected overwhelmingly.

Vote to pass rule change for all future years:

For: 30; Against: 15; Abstentions: 10
Motion passed.

b) Request for a river closure (Isis) on Saturday January 31st between 3.00pm and 3.30pm to enable Trinity College to hold its annual old boys’ race.

Proposed: Will Sweet (Trinity); Seconded: Caroline Hyde (Trinity)

WS explained that this happened every year and that the race could not be held in the morning as there was a dinner in the evening so people couldn’t spend all day in Oxford.

There was some discussion about moving the time later but, given the failing light, this was only possible by half an hour so didn’t make much difference.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

7) Constitutional amendments

a) Add new C2 and renumber:
'The Council of Oxford University Rowing (COUR) is the University sanctioned executive authority for the overseeing of all safety matters concerning rowing within the University. All safety issues on which COUR makes a ruling shall be binding on members of OURCs.'

Add new Appendix E and reletter:
COUR performs an advisory role for OURCs and the rowing clubs of Oxford University. It provides a forum for exchange of information between rowing clubs, for liaising and the sharing of information on major events, and other matters of common interest. It also, where appropriate, provides a forum for the presentation of matters of common interest in the rowing community to the University, and provides a common point of contact with the ARA.

Attach COUR constitution.

Proposed: Emily Baldock (OURCs); Seconded: Hugh Richardson (OURCs)

EB explained that COUR had been set-up the previous year and wanted to ensure that, as a body, it was capable of enforcing safety rulings on the college boat clubs. She emphasised that it would only be used for serious safety issues and was not intended to affect the general running of OURCs or college boat clubs.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

b) Add at end of C6:
'Upon retirement, resignation or a vote of no confidence all committee members must hand over any OURCs’ documents or property in their possession.'

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

EB explained that this was simply to ensure that such things as equipment, website passwords and funds were passed on when someone left office. This had apparently been a problem in some other sports clubs so just clarified what needed to be done.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

c) Add at end of C7:
'11. No motion which requires the spending of OURCs’ funds shall be passed without the presence of the Treasurer (or appointed deputy).'

Add at end of C10:
'7. The Treasurer (or appointed deputy) must be present at any meeting at which financial business is discussed. Any decisions taken in contravention of this rule will be subject to ratification by a Captains’ Meeting.'

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

EB explained that the purpose of this was simply to ensure that financial decisions (eg the proposal to purchase a scull for capsize drills) weren’t taken without the meeting being properly aware of the financial position of OURCs. Any treasurer who abused this rule could be censured or no-confidenced if the captains considered it necessary.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

8) Transfers

a) Georgios Peridas from no college to Christ Church (was a student at Christ Church, now awaiting leave to supplicate whilst finishing his DPhil corrections. Has been in continuous possession of a bod card). Typically allowed.

Proposed: Lenny Martin (Christ Church); Seconded: Freya Cox Jensen (Christ Church)

LM explained that GP was still a member of college so far as Ch Ch were concerned, but that this was not evident from his bod card. This motion was just to ensure that his rowing for Ch Ch would not be questioned.

Passed overwhelmingly.

b) Jason Lotay from Christ Church to New (he was a student at New and is now at Christ Church). Typically allowed.

Proposed: Mark Rosel (New); Seconded: Emily Richards (New)

Passed overwhelmingly.

9) Elections

a) Emily Baldock (OURCs) to Secretary

Proposed: Jennifer Thomson (OURCs); Seconded: Stuart Jones (OURCs/Univ)

Elected overwhelmingly.

EB urged captains to ensure that they directed enquiries to the correct person rather than sending her lots of e-mails which would only be forwarded on to someone else anyway.

b) Anthony Maidment (Corpus) to OURCs committee

Proposed: Jen Thomson (OURCs); Seconded: Thomas Brightwell (Corpus)

Elected overwhelmingly.

c) Gabriella Adams (St John's) to OURCs committee

Proposed: Emily Baldock (OURCs); Seconded: Alex Woods (St John's)

Elected overwhelmingly.

10) AOB

a) SJ noted that the IWL entries would be on-line this time and would close next week so captains should get their entries in quickly.

b) The captains were reminded about the Linacre Rowing Lectures and urged to encourage their members to attend.

c) SW noted that OUWBC were fundraising with two events: a) a 12hr erg in the Westgate Centre on the 22nd Jan and b) a Rowathlon on the 8th Feb at Iffley Rd. Entries £5 a head and all colleges encouraged to enter.

d) RQ noted that no river closure had been requested for the two IWLs this term.

Proposed to hold a river closure from 1.00pm until 4.00pm on the Sundays of 3rd and 6th weeks of Hilary Term 2004

Proposed SJ; Seconded EB.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

JT noted that last term there had been some chaos when swapping from normal circulation to race circulation. She requested that any clubs out at 12.55pm pull over to the nearest available raft so that we can begin the river closure – they would then have to cross the river to the other side.

[It has been noted that in fact this chaos occurred when we changed circulation at 1.45 (15 minutes before racing). No crews should be out before 1.00pm. With a river closure at 1.00pm this should not be a problem.]

Date and time of next meeting:
8.00pm, Friday 27th February (6th week), BSLT St Catz