Rowing Safety

From Sally:

I’ve been asked to send out a Safety Reminder, especially as we are entering a darker, colder, wetter time of year, with less predictable winds.

Each rower is responsible for checking his/her station(your seat, rigger,

footstretcher…) BEFORE boat leaves the dock. Ideally, time permitting, this is done in slings before heading to the dock, so any adjustments can be made w/o having to run up to the boathouse.

 NOTE: We DO NEED to sling every boat the first time it is used after re- rigging. After a regatta, rigging in a hurry, sometimes in dark, cold, wet conditions, too often not all hardware gets on correctly. Assign one person to re-check before putting trailered boats back in the bay. Also, check HULL for any damage, and that RUDDER/FIN is straight and undamaged.

 CHECKING YOUR STATION before rowing – every practice!:

1)Rigging: All nuts/bolts, including top nut, on and tight? (reminder that nuts should be tight, but not super-tight – damages the boat) Spacers where you want them?

2)Foot Stretchers: Heel ties ok? (connected and 2″ long or less) Hardware tight?(wing nuts, center pins) Positioned where you want them?

3)Seat and slide: Working ok?

4)Oar: Undamaged? Button and collar on securely? From appropriate set of blades for your boat?

 In Fall/Winter weather it is especially important that our equipment is ready to go. But we must also get our bodies ready to go. MAKE SURE your body is WARM BEFORE launching – a few minutes of jumping jacks, running in place…whatever, to get your blood moving.

 REMINDER that Hypothermia is a real danger when the air temperature is below 40 degrees and/or the water temperature is below 50 degrees.

USRowing recommends that if rowing in these conditions, a launch is within 100yds of your boat. Obviously, if your boat flips you will get wet, but we also can get very wet from rain and from splashing of boatmates’

oars. Staying as dry as possible is the goal. If you end up in the lake, get as much of your body out of the water as possible until help arrives.

When putting your boat back in the boathouse after practice, keep an eye out for any new damage while wiping it dry. Small problems can become big ones if not found promptly.

Take those very few extra minutes before beginning your workout to save time and possible boat and/or body injuries later. Do your part to keep our team safe!

USRowing website has a whole safety section if you want to read more.


I would add to this great safety reminder – this is the time of year to eschew cotton. Cotton is a hydrophilic material, meaning it holds onto water. In our environment, it increases temperature drop. Check your winter rowing clothing to make sure they are made of other materials; wool, acrylic, nylon, polyester, silk are all better material options. This includes your socks! Your feet will be much happier in non-cotton socks. (FYI-there are $5 options at Berg’s…)


I would also recommend a thin wind shirt for our nastier rows. Take it off when we are in the thick of our workout, but it will be a great barrier during warm-up and while heading back to the dock. Wind + wet clothing = fast temperature drop. Especially when already vasodilated due to a great workout!


Please feel free to send any questions my way.




Posted on October 12, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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