Rules of the River

This synopsis is based on river safety rules accepted by Durham ARC, DUBC and Durham School

All boats MUST keep to the RIGHT HAND side of the river;  i.e.  Crews  stay near the bank on their starboard side (bowside). This means that boats go downstream on the Pelaw Wood side and use ‘hard arch’ no 2 on Elvet bridge, and go upstream  on the Racecourse side and  use ‘easy arch’ (no. 1) of Elvet bridge

An OVERTAKING boat should move out to overtake and has right of way over the boat being overtaken.

The boat being overtaken should  keep as close as possible to the bank

An OVERTAKING CREW rowing DOWNSTREAM has right of way over an overtaking crew rowing upstream.

Crews that are stationary because they are being coached or rested must do so on a
part of the river where they are no risk to themselves or any other crew.. For crews to be stationary on the parts of the river that are used for timed pieces is NOT recommended. Any crew stationary MUST be as close to the bank as possible

As far as possible crews should only turn at the following points

  • the start and finish of the short course
  • below the finish of the long course (Counts House)
  • The start and finish of the 500m reach provided that the crew is rowing off immediately.
  • Above Durham ARC landing up around Durham Old Beck,

Where it is necessary to turn a boat at any other point, coaches and crews must do so with great care and circumspection

Crews should NOT turn between

  • Upstream end of Brown’s landing and 100m below Elvet Bridge.
  • 50m above and below Van Mildert boathouse.
  • Collingwood and Durham ARC unless rowing off immediately

Crews leaving or joining a landing should not impede any other crews.

Crews crossing the river to or from a landing should only do so when safe; and must do so as quickly as possible and not crossover until almost opposite the landing.

ALL CREWS BOATING IN DARKNESS OR ARE LIKELY TO BE AFLOAT IN DARKNESS MUST CARRY LIGHTS. The bow light to be white and the stern to be red (local rules). The light has to be visible to crews moving in the opposite direction; bow’s rigger is not a good mounting position. In the dark the position of a crew on the river is most important, as is the knowledge of other river users including canoeists; extra care is always needed.

CREWS ARE NOT TO BOAT IN HIGH FLOOD. For a crew to boat in flood conditions, depends upon the ability of the crew and the judgment of the coach. Senior crews must not go afloat if the water is covering the downstream retaining wall of the city landing. Junior crews are not to boat if the water is covering the upstream retaining wall. No crews should boat when there are rising flood conditions; this is when the river is high and rising, with excessive rainfall and a high chance of large amounts of driftwood.

Always RISK ASSESS the crew, equipment  and conditions BEFORE going afloat.

It is good practice to inform other crews on the water of any work schedules that may be important to safety and not just do a piece with expectations that others will have to get out of the way – inform others.