Covid-19 and Rowing update: Coxless fours and quads

We have now had the opportunity to trial coxless fours and this went well and we did not encounter any material unknown issues before, during or after the outing. The Committee has agreed to extend rowing to the use of coxless fours and coxless quads subject to the following conditions:

Crew & equipment selection

  • Coaches/ squads should endeavour to keep the same crew rowing together wherever possible to minimise the number of different close interactions rowers will have with each other.

  • The person booking the boat must keep a record of the crew for at least 21 days to assist with NHS Test and Trace if required

Pre-outing

  • Before an outing, a minimum of a 2m distance should be maintained at all times until in the boat.

  • When retrieving the boat from the boat storage, the minimum number of people required to safely lift the boat should be used.

  • When launching, rowers should endeavour to keep a 2m distance

  • Rowers may wish to wear a face-covering during the launching process. This is up to the discretion of the individual or coach but wearing a mask is not mandatory.

  • Before launching the boat, rowers should clean down their area of the boat and oars and after cleaning the boat, rowers should wash their hands

During the outing

  • Crews should aim to maintain the maximum distance between rowers at all times including:

  • Rowing full crew or stern pair only at all times to avoid someone moving towards another a rower sat at backstops No Bow pair only rowing/sculling.

  • Lesson learned from the trial: When coming back into the landing stage where you would normally switch to Bow Pair only, steerspeople should consider going to either Stern pair only or whole crew at half/quarter slide to reduce boat speed while observing the “no Bow Pair” rule.

  • Steerspeople should avoid shouting to reduce the risk of droplet transmission

After the outing

  • Once back on the land, rowers should maintain social distancing.

  • Rowers should clean down their own area of the boat before returning it to the boat store.

  • Rowers should wash their hands

SBC Additions/ Comments:

  • All current Covid-19 restrictions remain in place

  • All boats still to be booked through James Stewart on sbcboatbookings@gmail.com so the Club has a record of who has used what boat. [It is a legal requirement for the Club to have a record.]

We know that with this relaxation there will be an increase numbers at the Club. We will monitor numbers around the site at any given time and, if we believe that numbers are increasing to a level where appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained, we will introduce staggered start times for outings to reduce numbers on land at any point in time. If this is the case, it will be clearly communicated to all members, coaches and squad coordinators.

We are continuing to look at safely reintroducing coxed boats and the next step will be the reintroduction of front-loader coxed fours. We still have some work to do on this (and more for stern loaders) so please bear with us while we work things out.

Alan Douglas

President, Staines Boat Club

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