OURCs Captains' Meeting Minutes

1st Week, Trinity Term 2004

1) Minutes of the previous meeting

These were ratified

2) Matters arising


3) Squad news

Isis won, the Blue boat lost. The squad will be sending 2 boats to Henley Royal Regatta.

Both boats won at Henley. The squad will be entering Women’s Henley, BUSA, the Nat Champs and, perhaps, Henley Royal. There will be a meeting in 3rd or 4th week for those interested in summer squad.

Both crews won at Henley. This is the first time the Blue boat has won three years in a row. The squad has competed in Milan and hopes to go to Taiwan in September.

Given by Sarah Waldron - Won at Henley in a very quick time. Some of the squad will be racing at Women’s Henley (probably with OUWBC). There will be a joint summer squad meeting with OUWBC.

4) Ratification of Nicola Fawcett (new President of OUWBC) as President of OURCs for Trinity Term 2004

Ratified overwhelmingly.

5) Ratification of an OURCs committee decision (made on 21st April 2004) to uphold a fine imposed on Queen’s College during Torpids for having an extra cyclist alongside their Men’s First Eight who was their boatman.

Will Goundry (Queen’s) complained that boatmen need to return quickly to their boathouses and that colleges can’t be expected to control them.

Emily Baldock noted that boatmen could return at the end of the division. Since there is a rule on ‘only one cyclist per crew’ we can’t distinguish between different people (unless the cyclist clearly has no attachment to that college).

Decision ratified overwhelmingly.

6) Autumn Fours medals presentation

Medals were presented to Teddy Hall (two crews), Wadham and St John’s.

David Locke asked colleges to see whether or not they had either or both of the Sculling Plate and the Regency Cup. These have a combined value of £6,500. If they can’t be found, DL will write to bursars asking them to check the college vaults.

7) Eights Entry Fees

Captains were informed that entry fees would be £40, the same as Torpids entry fees. There were no objections.

8) Eights briefing meeting

Jen Thomson explained that she would be holding a meeting in 3rd or 4th week to inform captains and coaches of the various changes that were being made to Eights rules and to go through disputes procedures and some of the main rules of Eights.

One of the biggest changes is that no cyclists will be allowed on the towpath on the Saturday at all. There will be static umpires to determine bumps. This will require more umpires than usual, but colleges will not need to provide stewards so we will only require the same overall number of college people as in the past. Potential umpires are requested to try to learn blade colours as this makes it easier to know who has bumped whom. There will be no fines for novice coxes without a bank coach on the Saturday; though we advise that a coach be present to help coxes spin onto their bungline. We are hoping that novice coxes will have learnt where what they should be doing by the Saturday and marshals can always give advice to crews getting to their bunglines.

9) ARA competition review

Conor O’Neill explained that the ARA is currently consulting on proposed major changes to its competition structure. He encouraged all captains to read the document on the ARA website and respond as the new structure will affect college rowers.

A summary of the changes:
The current points system is to be abolished. Instead there will be three levels of competition: primary, intermediate and national. Each rower will have a certain status (depending on the number of wins in one season, but also on certain other competitions so, for example Oxbridge blues will automatically have a high status). Once a rower has a high status they can only row in the higher level events, even if the rest of the crew are inexperienced. The structure is aimed at rowers who want to progress to national or international standard. For Oxford, it means that (since most rowers will be relatively inexperienced) colleges will either have to ditch their one or two good rowers (especially any blues) or else enter regattas against high-level club crews. There is provision for non-status events but, as anyone could enter these, it doesn’t help. Regattas could have their own status-defined events, but the chances are that we’d then just end up racing other Oxbridge colleges.

EB will collate the views of captains on this. Or else captains can contact Charlie Humphreys who is the Oxford Divisional Rep and holds the one Oxford vote.

10) Use of CORC landing stages and car parks

The captains gave permission to DL to continue to pay CORC for the use of their facilities.

11) Motions

a) Request for a river closure for the annual Oriel Regatta from Thursday to Saturday of 7th week (inclusive) from 12.00pm until 5.00pm or the end of racing (whichever is later).

Proposed: Alasdair Robbie (Oriel); Seconded: Peter Hackworth (OUBC Blue)

AR assured the captains that the problems which occurred last year with timings will not occur this year.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

b) Request for a river closure for the Nephthys Dash Regatta from Thursday to Friday of 3rd week (inclusive) from 1.00pm until 5.00pm or the end of racing (whichever is later).

Proposed: Jeni Tod (OULRC); Seconded Andy Welling (Worcester)

Jeni Tod explained that this would be run like a short version of Nephthys Regatta with a qualifying head race on the first day and then a seeded regatta on the next. Entries would be taken from singles and Eights. Captains requested that the Eights category be divided into two statuses so that lower crews had an opportunity to race each other rather than first eights. JT agreed to come up with a suitable proposal for this.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

c) Request to move the times of (either) the men’s and women’s first divisions (or) all the divisions of Eights to 15 minutes later, to allow finalists with exams on the afternoons of Eights to be able to row in the first divisions.

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

ER recognised that it was too late to do this for the current year, but that she wanted to see whether there were lots of finalists in the same position.

Jen Thomson explained that crews had in the past put in an eligible sub and then let the ‘correct’ rower in at City just before the race – this was one way of avoiding the problem.

Alasdair Robbie explained that Oriel often had finalists rowing and considered that women could also make the first division. The only real problem is the Saturday.

Stuart Jones noted that the committee have to stay behind for a long time to clear up – it’s not fair to make them stay longer, especially when it’s difficult to get to Eights dinners as it is.

Emily Baldock questioned why special treatment should be given to first division rowers in any case. There were plenty of potential first eight finalists in the second and third divisions who couldn’t get to row in any case.

Sarah Waldron and Emily Baldock asked that captains vote on the motion to move the whole event 15 minutes later in future years.

Motion defeated overwhelmingly.

d) Clarification sought from the OURCs committee as regards squad rowers and reserves being released to row for their colleges in events prior to that season’s Boat Races.

Proposed: Sam Graham (Exeter); Seconded: Mark Rosel (New)

Emily Baldock explained that boat race crews are not entitled to row in Torpids, but the rules do not say whether spares may do so. This year the squad presidents had not objected to the inclusion of spares so it had been decided to allow them to race.

Alasdair Robbie argued that these people had trained very hard but wouldn’t (unless there were a last-minute emergency) get to race in the boat race. It was only fair to let them race in Torpids instead.

Emily Baldock proposed (seconded Stuart Jones) that she draft a suitable amendment to the rules which would make it clear that spares were allowed to row.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

[Rule change: Add to rule B3.1: ‘This restriction does not apply to University crew spares and other potential substitutes.’]

12) Rule changes

a) In rules R9.1 and R9.2 (scheduled restrictions) delete ‘on the river’ and replace with ‘on the Isis’.

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

EB explained that ‘on the river’ technically means anywhere on the Thames, including Radley, Abingdon, the Tideway etc. This interpretation would not help to ease congestion and could not be enforced. Since the main congestion problems were on the Isis, it made sense to restrict the rule to that stretch of the river.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

b) In rule G5.3 (‘In exceptional circumstances (e.g. sudden injury) the Race Committee may permit substitutes not allowed by G5.1, but only if the proposed substitute does not represent an enhancement to the crew.’) add:
‘It is the responsibility of the person making such a substitution to alert the Race Committee to the fact that the substitution is being made under this rule.’

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

EB explained that the race committee cannot be expected to know the names of every rower and cox in over 150 crews. Therefore if an exceptional substitution were to be made we could only consider it if we were informed of that fact.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

c) In rule G2 add G2.8: ‘Any member of the race committee may make a decision under rules G5.3 (substitutions), G8.2 (registration of disputes) and G8.3 (action to be taken upon the registration of a dispute). Decisions made under rules B11 (technical bumps), B12 (penalty bumps), B13 (Row Overs), B5.4 (time penalties in rowing on), B5.5 (time bonuses in rowing on) and F4.5 (time penalties in Autumn Fours) shall be made by three neutral members of the race committee with an appeal lying only to the Senior Umpire in accordance with G8 (Disputes Procedure). All other decisions to be made by ‘the race committee’ elsewhere in these rules shall be made by the whole race committee prior to the event taking place.’

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

EB explained that the rules are currently very vague as to who on the race committee can or should make what decisions. During racing the whole committee cannot be gathered together, but it may be unfair for just one person to impose certain penalties and so on.

Conor O’Neill suggested that more than one person should hear a case for an exceptional sub. Stuart Jones agreed because, having dealt with subs, there was potential for confusion at the race desk if one person could make a decision.

Proposed amendment so that three people have to hear claims under rule G5.3. Seconded: Emily Baldock. Amendment passed overwhelmingly.

Amended rule change: ‘Any member of the race committee may make a decision under rules G8.2 (registration of disputes) and G8.3 (action to be taken upon the registration of a dispute). Decisions made under rules G5.3 (substitutions), B11 (technical bumps), B12 (penalty bumps), B13 (Row Overs), B5.4 (time penalties in rowing on), B5.5 (time bonuses in rowing on) and F4.5 (time penalties in Autumn Fours) shall be made by three neutral members of the race committee with an appeal lying only to the Senior Umpire in accordance with G8 (Disputes Procedure). All other decisions to be made by ‘the race committee’ elsewhere in these rules shall be made by the whole race committee prior to the event taking place.’

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

d) In rule B3.2 add: ‘This does not include crews which have failed to row on under rule B5.’

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

EB explained that the current interpretation of the rules was that once a crew had failed to row on, its members could race as subs in other crews. However, the rules had been interpreted the opposite way in the past. It was therefore best to clarify the position.

Stuart Jones and others spoke in favour of people who had failed to row on being allowed to row as subs in other crews as they had trained hard and it would also be difficult for captains to find other subs.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

e) In rule G7 replace ‘Indentification’ with ‘Identification’

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

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

f) In rule B11 (Technical Bumps) after ‘The Race Committee may award technical bumps if a boat does not start in accordance with OURCs regulations.’ add:
‘This includes any boat which is not permitted to start due to non-payment of a fine under G6.3.’

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

EB explained that an issue had arisen during Torpids as to whether a crew which had been withdrawn due to the non-payment of its fines would suffer only one technical bump or end up being bumped by every boat which went past its empty bungline.

This began a long discussion as to what happened when crews did not start for other reasons, and whether they could avoid paying fines as a technical measure to go down only one place each day. Although EB noted that such tactics were rare (unheard of?) since most crews actually wanted to race, it was acknowledged that the rules were very unclear on all these issues.

The motion was withdrawn so that all the rules on boats which didn’t conform with OURCs regulations could be rethought properly.

g) In G8 (Disputes Procedure) add new G8.3 and renumber: ‘If a complaint or dispute is registered with the race committee otherwise than through a representative at the race desk, the crew registering the dispute shall have 10 further minutes in which to send a representative. The ‘race desk’ shall be the main race desk as determined by the race committee.’

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

EB noted that the rules originally envisaged disputes and complaints being made to the race desk. We now allow them to be made over the radio as it can be difficult to get to the race desk. However, other interested parties then have 10 minutes to get to the race desk so it is fair to allow the complaining crew another 10 minutes to get there. This gives a total of 20 minutes to get round which should be enough.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

13) Constitutional amendments (and consequential rule changes)

a) In C7.3 (duties of the OURCs secretary) remove ‘Appoint Race Committees to organise OURCs races’.

b) Add after C7.3 and renumber:
‘C7.4 The Eights Secretary, whose duty is to appoint a race committee to organise Eights.
C7.5 The Torpids Secretary, whose duty is to appoint a race committee to organise Torpids.
C7.6 The IWL Secretary, whose duty is to appoint a race committee to organise the Isis Winter Leagues and Autumn Fours.’

c) In C7.9 (‘No more than ten Ordinary Members, who shall assist the OURCs Secretary and Captain of Coxes with their duties.’) after ‘OURCs Secretary’ add ‘, Eights Secretary, Torpids Secretary, IWL Secretary’.

d) In G1 delete: ‘The OURCs Secretary, or an appointed member of the OURCs Committee, shall be designated Race Secretary, and shall be responsible for the overall organisation of each OURCs event. Their duties shall be to:’ and replace with: ‘The Eights Secretary, Torpids Secretary or IWL Secretary shall be designated Race Secretary for the purposes of Eights, Torpids and the Isis Winter Leagues and Autumn Fours respectively. If no Secretary has been elected for a particular event, the OURCs Secretary, or an appointed member of the OURCs Committee, shall be designated Race Secretary. The Race Secretary for each event shall be responsible for the overall organisation of that event. Their duties shall be to:’

All proposed: Emily Baldock (OURCs); Seconded: Jennifer Thomson (OURCs)

EB explained that the OURCs Secretary job had become too big for one student to manage. It was hoped to get a sabbatical, but this would not happen for next year. This motion was intended to split the job into a Secretary who would be responsible for the overall running of the organisation and specific race secretaries who would run the events.

JT noted that one person could potentially stand for all four jobs if they so wished.

Motion passed overwhelmingly.

14) Transfers

a) Catherine Stoodely from University to Pembroke (was a student at Pembroke and now a fellow at Univ). Typically allowed.

Proposed: Hanna Evans (Pembroke); Seconded: Adela Reed (Univ)

Passed overwhelmingly.

b) Victoria Sherman from New college to Osler-Green (she is entitled to choose to cox for only one club but chose last year to cox for New college and now wishes to cox for Osler). Typically not allowed (though captains have agreed to consider requests for transfers of senior coxes as Victoria Sherman is).

Proposed: Jenny Williams (OURCs); Seconded: Alex MacDonald (OURCs)

JW explained that VS hadn’t coxed for Osler last year as the club had been a shambles and there were no men’s crews to cox for. She was now the men’s captain and had reorganised the club. She had coxed as an associate in Torpids, but now wished to enter a second men’s eight who would have another associate cox. If the transfer didn’t go through she would have no-one to cox the first eight.

Alasdair Robbie argued that she had made her choice and the captains had already decided that she couldn’t transfer. Allowing this would set a bad precedent.

Emily Richards noted that New were happy with the transfer and that she wouldn’t be coxing for New.

Emily Baldock argued that Osler had received a big slap on the wrist when the transfer didn’t go through the first time. Hopefully they had learnt that they had to stick with their choices. However, the captains could avoid setting a precedent by allowing this transfer on the basis that VS is a senior cox. Transfers of rowers in a similar situation should not be allowed in future.

Transfer passed overwhelmingly.

c) Holly Insley from OxILP to Queen’s (was a student at Queen’s, now at OxILP and rowed in Osiris in 2004). Not allowed.

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

AS argued that this was not trying to set a precedent for the transfer of OxILP members but was an exceptional case because HI had represented her University so should also be allowed to race for her old college. It’s good for squad rowers to come back to race in Eights, and this would help encourage OxILP people to row in the squads.

Jen Thomson stressed that this mustn’t be allowed to set a precedent. Emily Richards noted that the point of transfer motions was so that each case could be considered individually.

For: 32; Against: 15; Abstentions: 8

Transfer passed (two-thirds majority in favour and simple majority of all those voting)

d) Robin Bourne-Taylor from no college to Christ Church (was a student at Ch Ch but has suspended his studies in order to train for the Olympics). Not allowed.

Proposed: Leonard Martin (Ch Ch); Seconded: Freya Cox Jensen (Ch Ch)

Transfer withdrawn as it turns out that RBT won’t be available for Eights anyway.

15) Resignations

Gabrielle Adams (St John’s) from OURCs committee

16) Election

OURCs committee (one place):

Tobias Williams (Corpus).

Proposed: Anthony Maidment (OURCs); Seconded: Emily Baldock (OURCs).

TW elected.

17) AOB

a) Ratification of the Senior Umpires for Eights:

Rachel Quarrell,
Andrew Hadcroft,
Laura Dance,
Gareth Powell,
Jonathan Price.

All ratified.

b) Jen Thomson announced that OURCs had obtained funding to run launch driving courses. We’re particularly looking for people who can do some launch driving during Eights, but others are encouraged to join in. There will be a small cost for each person (less for those launch driving for Eights). An e-mail will be sent round with the details.

c) Emily Baldock mentioned that OURCs would be running some joint swim test sessions so that colleges could ensure that all their rowers and coxes had been tested. It was requested that colleges with large numbers of new untested rowers organise their own tests (in conjunction with others if necessary).

d) Leonard Martin proposed that OURCs wish both Robin Bourne-Taylor and David Livingstone, who are both current students in the GB Olympic squad, good luck.

e) Jen Thomson requested that captains put forward additional helpers for the Eights race committee. Ideally we’d like experienced rowers/coxes who aren’t rowing (as we tend to be short of people during the higher divisions), but anyone with some experience would be useful if they could help out for a few hours.

Date and time of next meeting: Friday 21st May (4th week), 8.00pm, St Catz BSLT.