Turning at Haystacks

Date of Email9th May 2003Sent By:Rachel Quarrell <quarrell@herald>
A little reminder to all college crews about the lower end of 
the river.

These guidelines are intended to be a) simple, b) applicable 
in all situations and c) stuck to.  Please inform all crews.

The drill is to call "easy" some time as you are passing the 
Haystacks post.  After that you may glide before you hold up, 
or drift a little, but you should not _paddle_ further 
downstream, even with just 2 rowers, before turning*.  The 
reason for this is that it makes a straightforward rule 
everyone can understand and use, while allowing a bit of 
leeway if conditions are fast.

	*The exception is if you absolutely need to move 
forward to escape
	being collided with.  This isn't just to be used 
because your cox
	is too crap to remember that they can also use strokesiders to
	back down rather than bowside to row on, if they want 
to turn out
	of another crew's way, nor because the approaching crew is too
	stupid to stop themselves drifting.  It's for 
emergencies only, or
	when the river behind you is so blocked the most sensible way is
	forward and for some reason you can't spin where you are.

All this should lead to most college crews turning in or 
often well before the wide 'elbow' of the Haystacks corner, 
not on the beginning of the last straight stretch before the 
lock.  One or two good crews may be able to glide that far 
after easying at the post - good luck to them if they really can.

I am aware that a number of older rowers and coaches don't 
like this rule. Tough - get over it or expect to be fined.  
We've proved again and again that we can't get college rowers 
to stick to more flexible systems (eg "don't go near the lock 
when there's a cruiser coming through or it's strong 
stream/wind") so this is a workable alternative which is 
simple to explain.  It may cut off a few strokes of rowing 
but there's also plenty of space wasted at the Head so I 
don't see the point of whingeing when it is a safety 
requirement put on us by the University authorities under 
pressure from the EA and other river users some time ago.  If 
you want it changed you're going to have to come up with some 
compelling evidence that coxes now are better than coxes then 
and will _never_ drift into cruisers or too close to the 
weir.  The rule does not apply to those rowing under 
non-collegiate colours, eg Falcon/CORC.

The Isis Tavern has a very nice garden and is one of my 
locals, by the way.


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