Rules & Regulations

This page will set out the important Rules and Regulations for Coxes and Competitors including navigation instructions for the Reading Amateur Regatta. The Regatta is held under the rules of British Rowing and the British Rowing Rules of Racing will apply. Further the Regatta conforms to the 'RowSafe' guide.

Coxes and competitors must familiarise themselves with the contents of this page!

Rules & Regulations for Competitors

    Registration & Boating Rules

  1. All crews must register prior to their first race at the Crew Stewards marquee.
  2. Crew substitutions must be made in BROE 2 prior to registration. The discovery of any unregistered substitutions may result in the disqualification of the crew.
  3. All coxes must weigh-in with their life-jackets (in compliance with rule 7.2.7a of the Rules of Racing) at Crew Stewards, where they will be issued with a weight slip which will be checked prior to boating. Any coxes under the minimum weight are required to provide their own deadweight (see rules 7.2.7d & 7.2.7f of the Rules of Racing).
  4. All crew members must bring their British Rowing cards to enable formal identification which will be validated with random spot checks.
  5. Crews must ensure that they are afloat at least 20 minutes before their scheduled race time.
  6. Crews must make equipment and coxes weight certificates available for inspection by the Control Commission prior to boating.
  7. Boating is under the supervision of Raft Marshals, crews must obey all instructions from the marshals.
  8. Crews must boat with their bows pointing upstream towards the start, see diagram above. As the boating area is situated just down-stream from the finish line, crews must check the finish area is clear before crossing promptly (full crew rowing) to the navigation channel along the opposite bank (avoiding crossing the race course).
  9. Between races, boats and blades may only be left in marked-off areas (away from the landing pontoons).

  10. Navigation & Racing Rules

  11. In the navigation channel, crews must avoid impeding other vessels who have equal rights of navigation.
  12. Crews must obey all instructions from the Channel Marshal and/or safety boats who are assisting in maintaining the flow of river traffic and compmetitors in the navigation channel.
  13. Practice starts and firm pressure paddling are not permitted in the navigation channel or in the start marshalling area. Failure to observe this rule may lead to disqualification.
  14. When passing the start pontoon, crews must identify themselves to the Start Marshals while continuing to row up-stream.
  15. Crews are required to obey all instructions from the Start Marshals or risk either an official warning or disqualification.
  16. On Saturday, crews must continue up-stream through The Gut, past St Mary's island and upto and around the yellow turning buoy unless instructed otherwise by the Start Marshalls. Crews will be instructed to pair up with their opponents and wait for their turn to race in the waiting area on the Berkshire side (see diagram below).

  17. On Sunday, crews must continue up-stream after passing the start pontoon upto and around the yellow turning buoy unless instructed otherwise by the Start Marshalls. Crews will be instructed to pair up with their opponents and wait for their turn to race in the waiting area on the Berkshire side (see diagram below).

  18. Crews paired with their opposition are only to proceed to the start positions when directed to do so by the Start Marshal (approx. 4 minutes prior to their scheduled race time).
  19. Crews are expected to know which station is which and the one they have been allocated for their race.
  20. The start is set from stakeboats. Crews are expected to be able to get attached to the stakeboats unaided and in good time.
  21. During the race, crews are required to remain in their allocated racing lane and to obey any instructions from the Umpires.
  22. In the event of a dead heat, crews will re-row immediately over the full course.
  23. After finishing, crews must proceed further down-stream, passing through the right-hand arch (NOT the left hand arch) of Caversham Bridge whilst keeping close to the central buttress, giving way to normal river traffic that will be passing through the centre of the arch.
  24. Crews must turn clockwise around the yellow buoy in the pool down-stream of Pipers Island and return up-stream back under Caversham Bridge as close as possible to the Berkshire bank (nearest to Reading Rowing Club).
  25. Crews waiting to land must hold position just down-stream of Reading Rowing Club until called to the landing stage by the Raft Marshal.
  26. Crews wishing to warm down must proceed downstream of Pipers Island following normal rules of navigation.

----- This concludes the Rules & Regulations for Competitors -----

First Aid & Assistance

  1. A First Aid unit will be located close to the Finish Tent. The Regatta Medical cover can be contacted through Regatta Control. Additional emergency medical support is available from:
    • Emergency Services: tel. 999
    • NHS Direct: tel. 111
  2. Two safety boats, crewed by trained personnel, will patrol the course throughout the regatta. Safety boats can be summoned via Regatta Control or a race official.
  3. All incidents must be reported to Regatta Control at the earliest opportunity and not later than the close of racing.
  4. All incidents and near-incidents must be reported online to British Rowing by all parties involved within 24 hours of the incident occurring. Reports should be made online to British Rowing via
  5. In the event of a junior being involved in an accident, the emergency contact will be identified from the competitors' entry information held in BROE2(?). The named person will be called over the public address (PA) system and contacted by the mobile phone number given on the entry form.
  6. Reading Amateur Regatta conforms to the 'RowSafe' guide.
  7. Further Reading Amateur Regatta Safety information can be found using this link.

Additional points to note

  1. Races are timetabled such to allow competitors the longest possible interval between races. Any timetabling issues are to be discussed with Regatta Control as early as possible.
  2. The boating area crosses a busy public walking route. Every care should be taken when carrying equipment through areas where members of the public and Regatta supporters are present.
  3. Crews wishing to practice starts or to paddle firm must proceed well up-stream of the start area and clear of crews waiting to race. Crews wishing to proceed beyond the marshalling area are advised to inform any start marshals of their intention. It is the sole responsibility of the crew to report back to the start marshal in time for their race.
  4. Crews are advised that normal navigation rules apply once clear of the Regatta race course and that there is no safety boat cover beyond the immediate vicinity of the Regatta course.
  5. The Caversham Lady, Caversham Princess and Princess Marina operate cruises from a jetty downstream of Reading Rowing Club. When maneuvering, the following signals that will be used by these vessels:
    • One short whistle blast --> changing course to starboard (right)
    • Two short whistle blasts --> changing course to port (left)
    • Three short whistle blasts --> reversing
    • Four short whistle blasts / short interval / one short blast --> turning with bows moving to starboard (right)
    • Four short whistle blasts / short interval / two short blasts --> turning with bows moving to port (left)
    • Five short whistle blasts / --> please make your intentions clear
  6. There will be a stagger at the start to take into account the stream conditions on the day, thus equalising the course. The stagger will be aligned using the sterns of the boats.
  7. Club captains and coaches are requested ensure that their crews (particularly Juniors) are trained in the following basic maneuvers.
    • Know which station is which, and the one they are allocated for their race.
    • Get attached to the start quickly and cleanly.
    • Respond quickly and clearly to any steering instructions given by Regatta officials and that they can do so unaided, without the intervention of a coach or Regatta official.
    Crews who are clearly not competent in any of these areas may not be allowed to race, in the interests of their own and other crew's safety.
  8. Prizes may be withheld if fewer than three boats actually compete in an event and/or if the British Rowing membership card of any member of the winning crews is not presented for updating.

All enquiries should be directed to the Entries Secretary.