UVRF Junior Sculling Policy - Parent Information Sheet
For the purposes of this policy, a Junior rower is defined as any rower under 18 years of age. Juniors must familiarize themselves with and follow all the rules and policies applying to regular members, including the rules regarding certification for various levels of sculling equipment. In addition, certain restrictions apply to Junior members who want to use club sculling equipment:
- Juniors may not scull unaccompanied by a coach or an adult rower unless their parent or guardian signs the UVRF Parent Permission form.
- Please read and fill in the form carefully and completely, sign it and either (a) mail it to UVRF, PO Box 419, Hanover, NH 03755; or (b) scan it and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org; or (c) leave it in the sculling book at the boathouse (and email us to let us know you did that).
Juniors will not be allowed to scull unaccompanied by a coach in a launch when the water temperature is below 60F.
Juniors may not take out the quads unless 1) accompanied by a bow seat rower who is 21 or older and UVRF-certified to toe bow, or 2) accompanied by a coach in a launch.
Juniors must pass the UVRF Captain’s Test (administered at a Sweep to Scull clinic) before taking out any sculling equipment.
Below is a synopsis of relevant sculling safety information, which parents and Juniors should read before signing the UVRF Parent Permission form. UVRF’s complete set of safety guidelines, boat use guidelines, and equipment certification policies are available on the UVRF website at www.uppervalleyrowing.org.
Any activity that takes place on or near the water requires a markedly higher level of safety awareness than it would on dry land. Use good judgment when assessing your rowing ability and the conditions on the river. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own safety.
1) Sign in/sign out
All scullers must sign out in the log book before launching, and sign in upon their return.
2) Launching and Landing
ALWAYS launch and land with the bow facing upstream.
Launching boats have priority for dock space over landing boats.
3) Dock Etiquette
Exit the dock promptly. Especially during peak hours (6am-8am), scullers are expected to be off the dock within 3 minutes of arrival.
Scullers carrying their boats off the dock have priority over those bringing boats onto the dock.
Keep the sculling dock clear of obstacles! Oars should be left out of the path of others using the dock. No shoes, extra clothes etc. may be left on the sculling dock.
Be alert when swinging the boat overhead or to the shoulder for carrying and when turning a corner while moving to and from the boathouse.
4) Traffic pattern & rules of the river
All boats must stay to the New Hampshire shore traveling upstream (north), and to the Vermont shore traveling down-stream (south).
In general, overtaking boats have the right of way. Use appropriate caution and in general, stick closer to the shore out of the way of faster boats.
5) Known Water Hazards
Conditions on the Connecticut River change continuously. The hazards described below represent a sample – they are not a definitive list:
Ledyard Canoe Club – boats frequently cluster around the canoe dock, and may not adhere to the traffic pattern.
Swimmers – particularly between the Narrows and the Dartmouth Rowing dock.
Boat Grabbing Trees – in various places on the NH and VT shore line, most notably at the “big bend” just south of the Chieftain.
6) Rowing in the Dark
Club boats may only be rowed during daylight hours. This means club boats may not launch before sunrise, and must return to the dock by sunset.
Private boat owners who chose to row in the dark must use lights, and are strongly encouraged to wear bright colored or reflective clothing.
7) Rowing in the fog
Do not row in fog unless your visibility to shore is as least 100 yards (roughly the distance from the sculling dock to the Vermont shore). If fog sets in while you are on the water, move slowly, and be prepared to stop quickly. Use a sound-making device (coxbox, horn, or whistle) to advise other boats of your location.
8) Flow rate
Club boats may not go out if the flow rate is above 15,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Novices may not go out if the flow rate is above 10,000 cfs. A link to the Wilder Dam Flow rate is on the UVRF website - www.uppervalleyrowing.org. Check the Wilder Dam Flow Rate.
9) Weather Conditions
Rowers should not go out if:
There are white caps on the water.
You hear thunder or see lightning.
A thunderstorm has passed through within the last 30 minutes.
If you are on the water and a thunderstorm comes up get off the water as quickly as possible.
10) Cold Water Rowing
Flipping into water colder than 60F can be deadly, even for strong swimmers. For this reason, juniors are not permitted to row unaccompanied by a coach when the water temperature is colder than 60F. In general, the water temperature rises above 60F at the end of May/beginning of June, and drops down below that again in September. There is a pool thermometer attached to the sculling dock, on the side closest to the safety launch approximately 3 feet south of the safety dock. It is your responsibility to check the thermometer before you row, and to take appropriate precautions as described below.
11) What to do if you flip your boat.
If you flip your boat, try to get back into your boat if you can. If you cannot, do not leave your boat, rather, swim with your boat to shore.
We recommend watching the below youtube videos on getting back in a boat after you've flipped, or take a junior sculling clinic where this skill will be taught.
Use your common sense when assessing your rowing ability and the conditions of the river, particularly those that affect the likelihood of whether you will flip or not. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own safety.
UVRF Captain's Test
Remove the boat from the rack without damaging it or adjacent shells (either solo or with a partner)
Carry boat to the sculling dock
Put the boat in the water without hitting the skeg on the dock
Place oars in oar locks correctly
Get in to the boat
Launch the boat away from the middle of the dock without a helper
Row 100 strokes
Demonstrate ability to navigate and steer
Check the boat down without flipping
Turn boat around
Back the boat down
Land the boat without a helper
Remove oars and return boat to assigned rack facing in the correct direction
Describe the traffic pattern on the river including launching and landing pattern
Describe known water hazards
Describe unsafe weather conditions
Describe what to do if the boat flips
Describe rights of way and passing instructions
Describe how to handle powerboat wakes
Scullers who wish to take out racing singles must demonstrate all of the boat skills listed above in a racing single. Scullers who are approved to row in recreational singles must be checked out in a racing single before moving in to a higher level boat.