CRA Bumps Safety Code

In accordance with best practice, it is vital that all rowers, coxes, bank parties and marshals know the CRA safety plan for the Bumps.

Copy this for use by all your members.

To an outsider it might appear that the Bumps are very dangerous and should be avoided but, with all participants well aware of these dangers and if they do as they are supposed to do, then the event is as safe as any other on a river, except for a few situations.

The danger areas are:-

  • When three (or more) boats are in close procession
  • Boats of a very different standard following one another
  • When a crab is caught or a rudder string breaks etc.
  • When a crew does not or cannot get to the bank after a bump
  • A member of a crew is actually in the water

All participants, including bank parties, have a duty to help with the general safe running of the event. This includes acknowledging a bump, or a technical bump, immediately it happens or the situation is obvious. Do not wait for a marshal to say that a bump as occurred.

It is very nearly impossible to define when the river is blocked so that crews must stop rowing but racing should continue if possible. If you can get past by pulling the blades in and paddling on then do so. Even if you have to stop you can usually get going again so avoiding a technical rowover. However, if you can only get past by hitting a cox or rower then don't. If you are the third boat some distance behind a bump and you clearly go to the narrow side of the crew in front but get bumped
that's your hard luck. If the crew in front heads across your path then the river might become blocked.

Bank parties are there to help. However, it is the marshals who are watching the overall situation and who must see that the event, as far as possible, remains running. They must bear safety in mind and quickly weigh one against the other. They have the final say and if they consider that the race should be stopped then crews must obey them at once. If this occurs at First Post Corner – as the Gut is the narrowest part of the Course hence the most likely place for the river to become blocked - the 'position' marshal will sound an air horn and wave a red flag. All crews must stop racing immediately. If the marshals consider that a bump was inevitable it will be given but other crews will be treated as having rowed over.

It is therefore essential that there are sufficient experienced marshals for the event as a whole and your club must provide its allocated number to make this work. If Clubs find it difficult to provide a starting bank party in addition to a marshal then the jobs can be doubled up as any dangers (and indeed "umpire" duties) are mostly during the racing. A 'position' marshal can of course be less mobile and will not need a bike, other than, perhaps, to take up their position. A marshal
need not be the same person throughout the evening but there must be continuity of cover at all times; especially with 'position' marshals.

Control and all static marshals will be linked by mobile radio. Some cycling marshals will have radios too. All static positions will be equipped with throw lines. There will be qualified St John Ambulance First Aiders on bicycles on the towpath. They will be included in the radio link with Control and position marshals. In the unfortunate situation of an ambulance having to take someone to hospital, this will be organised by the St John Ambulance First Aiders who have been given a copy of the Safety Map on the CRA Bumps website.

All participants must be made aware of the full arrangements and any queries raised in good time with the Bumps Secretary. Please see also the Risk Assessment on
the website.

Can we please highlight:

Remember that cycling bank parties are limited to FOUR and that no running with crews is allowed.

Accidents on the river are very few and far between. Accidents involving cyclists are, unfortunately, not so infrequent and have been serious, often involving members of the public rather than followers of the Races.