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You can't win with rowers


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5 hours ago, Thames Bhaji said:


Me too, and I didn’t know that the river version of the ‘polite bip’ was ‘one long blast’. I think that might be lost in translation for the average river user who would actually hear ‘get out of the bleeding way’. I may stick to intuition on that one!

 

In the OP's position, wouldn't the appropriate horn signal have been a Morse 'U'?

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

Yes, I also never really understand why they don't look where they are going, and that is speaking as someone who has rowed dinghies (not competitively, just to get to shore). It is everyone's responsibility to avoid collisions so if a rower collides with another boat without taking any evasive action they carry at least 50% (if not more) of the blame. There is no reason not to look around once you've pulled the oars, the boat isn't going to suddenly do anything unexpected until the next time you pull on the oars and since one of the reasons for rowing is exercise, turning around a bit more often gives you a little bit more exercise.

 

I have had similar experiences to the OP on The Cam where a rowing boat was coming up fast behind me and sounding the horn (at the front of the boat, obviously) would have achieved very little, all I could really do was stage a coughing bout as the boat approached and fortunately the bow oarsman heard me, but if they aren't going to look where they are going, they will take the consequences.


I regularly call out (on the Cam) "Ahead scull", or "Take a look" which are recognized signals and one that rowers often use to each other. I also have a horn that I blow into, which is useful for alerting boats behind you (sounding the horn at the bows is a waste of time, as noted). It's a while since I did any sculling, I found it rather difficult. Turning round to look is not good for the balance.

Here's a photo I use sometimes when talking about the Thames tideway. The boat with the hole in the transom belongs to the coach !!
Untitled.png.629a9cfd6bbaf61f791104e7499d6ed3.png

5 hours ago, The Happy Nomad said:

 

Given that the cox faces the direction of travel that must take some doing.

Not really. Usually the cox is much smaller than the hulks in front of them, and leaning out to have a look disrupts the balance when racing. Hence there's quite a blind spot dead ahead...

Edited by Scholar Gypsy
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35 minutes ago, MtB said:

Mirrors. That's the answer! A mirror on a stick above the cox's head so the rowers can see where they're going. 

 

Sorted. 

in this day and age surely a small reversing camera is possible

 

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I was surprised how late the rowers on the Gloucester Sharpness left it before lying back to go under the swing bridge at Saul Junction.  They must use a point to the side to determine when to go but the front rower almost smacks their head on the bridge.

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2 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Not really. Usually the cox is much smaller than the hulks in front of them, and leaning out to have a look disrupts the balance when racing. Hence there's quite a blind spot dead ahead...

 

Sorry on a big wide river like the Thames I just dont buy that.

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2 hours ago, MtB said:

Mirrors. That's the answer! A mirror on a stick above the cox's head so the rowers can see where they're going. 

 

Sorted. 

 

Given the cox steers the boat what advantage would that offer?

 

If SG's point is correct then a more appropriate device would be a periscope for the cox.

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2 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:


I regularly call out (on the Cam) "Ahead scull", or "Take a look" which are recognized signals and one that rowers often use to each other. I also have a horn that I blow into, which is useful for alerting boats behind you (sounding the horn at the bows is a waste of time, as noted). It's a while since I did any sculling, I found it rather difficult. Turning round to look is not good for the balance.

Here's a photo I use sometimes when talking about the Thames tideway. The boat with the hole in the transom belongs to the coach !!
Untitled.png.629a9cfd6bbaf61f791104e7499d6ed3.png

Not really. Usually the cox is much smaller than the hulks in front of them, and leaning out to have a look disrupts the balance when racing. Hence there's quite a blind spot dead ahead...

Voice signals to identify the intended recipient, like "double skull" and the hazard "boat ahead" are generally effective.

We use the same, racing big old keelers with limited manoevrability.

"Rainbow we will dip you" to indicate we will not challenge our right to cross ahead but will instead cross behind.

Or "K957 We require sea room to avoid a gybe when our boom will take out your backstay"

 

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30 minutes ago, DandV said:

Voice signals to identify the intended recipient, like "double skull" and the hazard "boat ahead" are generally effective.

We use the same, racing big old keelers with limited manoevrability.

"Rainbow we will dip you" to indicate we will not challenge our right to cross ahead but will instead cross behind.

Or "K957 We require sea room to avoid a gybe when our boom will take out your backstay"

 

On sailboats when racing there is a whole raft of strategies and communications, but then it is more of a thinking sport. The general impression I've got over the years from inland rowers is that they treat it much the same as when they are sitting on a rowing machine in the gym where looking where you are going isn't necessary. I would however differentiate them from offshore gig rowers who do show proper seamanship.

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20 hours ago, The Happy Nomad said:

 

But as you say - you can't win. If you do you will likely get a torrent of abuse along the lines of 

 

'what's your ....... problem, I'd ....... seen you....."

 

Exactly. That was my point.

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13 hours ago, MtB said:

Mirrors. That's the answer! A mirror on a stick above the cox's head so the rowers can see where they're going. 

 

Sorted. 

 

In my case they were single rowers so no cox.

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Majority of the ones i came across on my brief stint on the Thames were coxless, usually being pursued by some ignorant and miserable sod with a megaphone in a motorised bathtub. Nearly all showed scant regard for personal safety or awareness of their boat or surroundings. Worst were the solo rowers as we came into Reading who would decide to turn in front of you without looking :( 

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9 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

Majority of the ones i came across on my brief stint on the Thames were coxless, usually being pursued by some ignorant and miserable sod with a megaphone in a motorised bathtub. Nearly all showed scant regard for personal safety or awareness of their boat or surroundings. Worst were the solo rowers as we came into Reading who would decide to turn in front of you without looking :( 

You seem to forget the rowers are the elite and as such can do as they please and us plebs just have to put up with it.🤭

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13 minutes ago, Loddon said:

You seem to forget the rowers are the elite and as such can do as they please and us plebs just have to put up with it.🤭

I just figured as we were near that London they all operated under the London Underground mentality where everyone ignores everyone else ;) 

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