Plastic Wear Strips on Oars

In the lead up to the Worlds, we have had a couple of queries with regard to wear strips on oars, in the context of the measurement rules.

” 7. Oars

7.1 Oars shall be made of timber.  Plywood is a permitted material for the blade of the oar.  The use of plastic or leather sleeving, facings or wear strips fastened to oars to protect wooden parts from wear is permitted.”

The oars and any plates attached to them need to be made of timber or plywood. Plastic or leather is permitted as a facing to reduce wear but whole components i.e. thole pin plates, are not to be solid plastic. As an example of a breach of this rule, we have seen thole pin plates made from 12mm polythene bread boards. These are not just to reduce wear, they are structurally of plastic and not acceptable. Plywood faced with plastic is acceptable. Essentially the whole system should work even if the plastic was taken off and replaced with grease.

Some clubs have used copper strips on the tips of their timber blades to prevent splitting. Although strictly in breach of the rule, no action will be taken against this traditional practice, which probably creates a slight racing disadvantage, rather than an advantage. Metal is not allowed elsewhere in the oar system.

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