Following last weekend’s announcement that the Government has removed some restrictions on outdoor exercise, the Committee has agreed that some rowing can now take place, subject to a number of restrictions. Thank you for your patience while we have processed the changes and agreed a plan.

In order to carry out the sport safely and abide by the regulations, we will be adopting a phased approach to returning to rowing as and when we can. Full details in the attached plan.

Please read to the end of this email to see the various rules and restrictions, and the further detail set out in the ‘return to rowing’ document – you will need to confirm you have done so before you can row.

PHASE 1 – From Monday 18 May

Private boat owners ONLY may go rowing, as long as they meet the below conditions and follow the rules set out.

PHASE 2 – Hopefully from Monday 25 May

Subject to review of the procedures in place, adult members who can competently steer a single and self-rescue may go rowing. Adult members who live in the same household can go rowing in a double, provided again they meet the safety requirements. A further email will confirm when this phase ‘goes live’.

PHASE 3 – TBC

Access for small groups, not of the same household (Limited access to club facilities)

This is when juniors will be able to start rowing as safety equipment will be able to be used.

PHASE 4 – TBC

Organised Adult sessions and outings – Organised Junior sessions and outings

– Use of full clubhouse including bar and kitchen

All rowers MUST adhere to the below rules:

  1. All outings are agreed in advance with the Safety Adviser (Amelia Page) and Captain (Matt Johnson) to ensure only one individual is using the club at any one time. To facilitate this, we will be using the booking system at Shlott.com (full details below).
  2. To be accepted to use the booking system you must meet the following criteria:
    1. Be aged 18 or over
    2. Be competent boating, landing and steering a single (or double where applicable)
    3. Be able to self-rescue and have completed a capsize drill in the past 3 years

At the discretion of the Captain and Safety Adviser, some ‘buddy’ outings may be made available to confirm a rower’s capabilities.

  1. We are operating a ‘Row & Go’ approach. All parts of the clubhouse, apart from the boathouse, will be closed to members. This includes the showers, changing rooms and toilets, which are only to be used in an emergency and you MUST notify that this has happened. Please leave your belongings in the boathouse or your car, arrive ready to row, and leave straight away taking all your belongings (including rubbish) with you.
  2. We have been advised to expect fewer vessels on the river, and that RNLI and other emergency response cover may be limited, reducing the likelihood of assistance if you get into difficulties. All rowers MUST take a phone with them for all outings. Waterproof cases are available in the boathouse by the doors to the fours/eights bay if you do not have your own. If you use a club case, please leave it in your boat for now. You MUST confirm that you are going rowing, and that you have returned on Shlott (on the noticeboard section) so we can raise the alarm if you get into difficulties and do not arrive back when expected. Do not use the outings board in the boathouse.
  3. Before rowing, rowers must conduct their own risk assessment, and decide whether the weather and water conditions are suitable, considering their own abilities and the lack of assistance available.
  4. Rowing is only permitted between the Clubhouse and the Old Light. You should stay close enough to shore at all time that you could paddle with your boat to land if you were unable to get back into your boat – ideally within 10m of the shoreline.
  5. On returning all the equipment you have used MUST be washed down with soapy water, including shared equipment such as trestles. You should also wash your hands. Washing up liquid, hand soap and wipes have been provided – please return these to the ‘wash station’ when finished.
  6. On leaving the clubhouse, wipe down door handles, light switches etc. with the wipes provided.
  7. Once you have completed your row, note on Shlott that you have returned, your mileage, and any observations (e.g. damage, incidents, weather conditions etc.).
  8. Any incidents, including capsize, near-miss, or contact with other objects on the river MUST be reported via the British Rowing incident reporting system. If you are unsure on how to use this, details are on the safety board in the corridor to the back door, or contact Amelia Page for guidance.

These rules have been put in place for your safety, and that of other members. We will keep them constantly under review to ensure the risk to health is minimised. Members found not to be following these rules may no longer be permitted to row.

Use of Shlott

  1. Go to Shlott.com and search for Gravesend Rowing Club. You should then be able to sign up as a member. As above, we will initially only accept you as a member if you meet the criteria for independent rowing.
  2. You can pre-book a slot by selecting it on the club calendar that will be available to you once accepted. Please refrain from booking multiple slots in advance, to give others the chance to book. If you decide not to go rowing, please cancel your session so others can use it. Only one rower should attempt to book each slot for now. Outings should not be longer than two hours.
  3. Once you have carried out a risk assessment and are happy to boat, add that you are going out on the Shlott noticeboard.
  4. Once you have returned from your outing, confirm you have returned and add your mileage and any comments to the notes section (at the bottom of the page). You’ll see an example you can copy. Please do add any observations such as the weather (e.g. ‘water not good enough to row’) that may help other rowers. Please don’t use the outings board or log book at the clubhouse.
  5. Any incidents should be reported in the usual way via British Rowing.