The race is run under British Rowing Rules of Racing. A risk assessment and safety guidance notes are made available to competitors at the time the draw is announced.
There are, however, general safety issues that all competitors need to be aware of:
- The distance (21.5km race + 1.5k from finish to our club).
- Because of the distance, the course will only be marshalled at critical points (bridges and where other rivers join the Great Ouse).
- The river passes through some fairly remote countryside, so there are generally few houses or people nearby.
- There is no towpath. There is a road running alongside the river for most of the distance, however on the Fens the rivers are generally higher than the road, and so the river can only be seen at specific vantage points from this road. If they wish, a bank party can stop regularly and climb the river bank to see their crew.
- The nature of the river margins varies and includes lengths of quite dense reeds and lengths with sheet piling.
Because of the nature of our river, as a club we insist that all our members have done a formal capsize drill, and that they carry a mobile phone and foil blanket in a waterproof container tied to their boat. We strongly advise competitors to do likewise and that all competitors are able to get themselves safely to the edge of a river unaided in the event of an accident or capsize. Some distance training is also advised!