Race and Safety Rules

Molesey Head Races


Race and Safety Rules – Instructions to competitors 

It is a condition of entry that this document and the risk assessment is to be read by all Clubs entering crews into this event and it is to be the responsibility of each Club’s Captain (or such other authorised officer of the Club) to review the information in this document alongside the guidance contained in the British Rowing Water Safety Code in determining whether the crews which they have entered are  adequately prepared, trained and equipped to take part in this event.

Pre-race briefings will be given in the morning by Junior coaches to their own crews at Hampton/LEH School boathouse and Molesey Boat Club. There will be a mandatory pre-race briefing for the Masters’ race at 12.45 in the MBC Clubhouse which must be attended by all Club representatives and all coxes.

All of these briefings will provide an update of river conditions.

It is anticipated that the Juniors will race in two divisions at 10 a.m. and noon with crews boating from the Hampton/LEH boathouse or Molesey Boat Club.

The Molesey Veteran Head will take place in the afternoon with a starting time of 2.30 p.m.

The attached course map will provide further information including

  • Course layout
  • Start and finish locations
  • Marshall and Umpire positions
  • Access locations for emergency services
  • Locations of notable hazards along this reach of the river
  • Areas which crews may not enter unless directed by an event marshal or umpire
  • Boating areas
  • A paramedic is located at Molesey Boat Club

The instructions of race officials must be observed at all times and in particular when marshalling to start positions, turning around the buoy upstream of the race start and on the return to either the Hampton/LEH clubhouse – a marshal will be supervising the turn downstream of Astoria-, or the MBC clubhouse and landing stages, where there will be marshals at two positions on the entry to the Molesey Lock cut (this is the section of the river on which Molesey Boat Club is sited) to ensure that the flow of boats into this area and the rate at which they are cleared from the river is such that we do not have excess numbers of boats in the area of the Molesey Lock weir which could place crews at risk of being drawn over the weir sluices.

1 Safety

Entrants must do everything possible to avoid injury or collision when marshalling or racing. 
Be aware that the stream maybe strong at this time of year and the water and weather cold, crews should be selected and prepared accordingly.

  • You must attend one of the pre-race briefings and familiarise yourself with the course map before taking to the water
  • Follow the directions shown on the course map at all times
  • Keep to the RIGHT hand side of the centre of the river at all times
  • You must comply with British Rowing Rules of Racing and observe the British Rowing Water Safety Code (inc the rules on the selection and use of equipment)
  • You must observe the directions of Umpires and Marshals

2 Proceeding to the start

  • Keep to the right of the river going to the start.
  • The top of the marshalling area is well below Sunbury lock.
  • Crews should form a single line with boat number ONE at the top on the Middlesex bank, starting just below the water intake on the opposite bank above Sunbury Court Island as directed by the Marshals.
  • There are markers on the Surrey/towpath bank for positions 1, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60.
  • Fours should marshal immediately behind the last eight.
  • Crews must be in position at least ten minutes before the start of the race. To do this you must be clear of the landing stage at Molesey Boat Club at least thirty-five minutes before the start, or twenty minutes from the Hampton/LEH boathouse.
  • Crews arriving in the starting area will come under the direction of a marshal. If you do arrive late, you will be held on the Middlesex side below Sunbury Court Island until all other crews have started. A crew which arrives late and interferes in any way with a crew which has started will receive a 30 second penalty.
  • Practice starts must be only be carried out along the Surrey side of Platt’s Eyot, not from the race start point. The last point to turn for a practice start is at Aquarius Sailing Club under the direction of a marshal.

3 The Start

  • The start is clearly marked on the Surrey bank.
  • When the signal for the race to start is given by loud-hailer, all crews should remove sweaters, paddle in order up-stream and turn round above the TURNING BUOY. Keep at one boat’s length spacing, and turn well upstream of the buoy, allowing for the current.
  • After turning, row down towards the start, but do not stop again unless told to do so by the Start Marshal. Crews will be told to start as they cross the line thus: “No.1..Go!, No 2 ..Go!” and so on.
    The timing start is five or six strokes beyond the start line.

4   The Race

  • Crews must keep to the RIGHT of the centre of the river, and give way to overtaking crews by going to the RIGHT towards the Surrey bank. Do not go too close to the Surrey bank in order to avoid sticking out trees and moored boats.
  • Umpires are stationed at intervals along the towpath and will report any infringement of the rules by crews and penalties may be applied by them

5 The Finish

  • The finish is at Hampton Ferry, opposite Hampton Church, and is marked with a FINISH sign on the Surrey bank.
  • Crews should keep moving at the finish so as not to impede other crews, and steer to the LEFT of Garrick Island.
  • DO NOT GO to the left of Tagg’s island as there is a weir at the bottom of that channel
  • At the upstream end of Tagg’s Island there will be marshals who will direct you as to when it is safe to proceed along the cut to the boating areas at MBC, or to turn and return upstream to Hampton/LEH boathouse.
  • If returning to Molesey, turn opposite the Club and come into the landing stage. Do not proceed further past the MBC landing stage unless directed by the bank marshals as there is a large weir on the North side of the lock channel.

6 Generally

  • Boating and changing facilities will be available at Molesey Boat Club and Hampton/LEH boathouse.
  • Trailer parking is available in Graburn Way and will be under the direction of a marshal. Boat assembly will take place inside the MBC compound or in the Cricket Club as directed on arrival.
  • Trailer parking is also available at Hampton/LEH boathouse.
  • Registration desks will be open from 8.30 a.m at Molesey Boat Club and Hampton/LEH boathouse. Bow numbers will be issued.
  • Entry fees must have been pre-paid before publication of the race order, unless permission has been pre-arranged to pay on the day. Entries must be made via BROE.

In the event of cancellation, an alternative date may be offered. Refunds of race fees will be made proportionately after deduction of unavoidable race expenses.

Reviewed 8th December 2021