Tight Turns at the Worlds

At Stranraer for the St Ayles Skiff World Championships we will be racing on a 2000 meter course. There is a 180 degree turn at the half way point, and there will be a turning buoy for each of the up to 15 boats in each race. The buoys will be Lomo buoys, like the ones in the photograph below.

The buoys are only 20meters apart, which may sound a lot, but remember that with oars out our boats are around 7 meters wide. We need all crews coming into the turn to make a tight turn, and turn the whole 180 degrees before setting off again. This will prevent collisions, disqualifications, and spoiling anyones day.

Crews should aim to hit the buoys (which will fall over) and have the buoy pass under the oars. All crews must bear in mind the following rules:

8.5.1 ………. crews should remain in their drawn lanes throughout the race.

8.5.2 In races where each boat has their own allocated turning buoy boats approaching their turn shall give way to those coming out of their turn. All boats shall turn their buoy in the same direction, which will be to starboard unless stated otherwise in race instructions.

8.6 At turns the whole hull and rudder must round the turning mark.

8.7 If the hulls of two boats collide during the course of a race, the presumption is that the safety of the crews is being compromised, and that disqualification of one or both crews should occur.

If a crew does not hit the buoy, or sets off before they have turned sufficiently it will be assumed that crew has not remained in their drawn lane if there is any hint of the crew impeding the progress of another crew, and they will face a sanction at the discretion of the umpire, possibly disqualification. If crews are in their lanes, there should be no need for approaching crews to give way to crews coming off the mark.

At Stranraer the umpires will be using drones at the turning marks, to view the turns and assist with decision making both during the race and in any necessary review process.

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