Dear TL6 Clubs,
I hope that you and your members are well in what is without doubt one of the most challenging times for rowing that we have ever experienced. I wanted to write to you with regards to some of the activity the TRRC is undertaking. I have had a number of emails from scullers asking why they can’t go on the river and I thought it would be useful to highlight a few points but also to begin the conversation around planning for a return to normality.
The current position is that the the advice from British Rowing, The Port of London Authority, The Environment Agency, The RNLI and the British Canoe Union is all aligned; People should avoid the recreational use of waterways. The TRRC absolutely must follow the guidance of our partners and currently there is no deviation of opinion amongst them. From a legal perspective whilst there has been new guidance on how the police will enforce legislation the law has not changed. “Going rowing” is not mentioned but the spirit of the legislation is fairly clear. It is aiming to reduce social contact, restrict movement and manage the demands on the emergency services. So far as a sport we have done exceptionally well at being “good”.
I know the challenges that every club has faced in making its own decisions around this in the early stages. Whilst it is clearly a great time to go sculling with no wash and no J14 Octuples there are risks in accessing clubs and cross contamination of boats and blades. This may not be the case for a private single, however the risk for those rowing alone is increased by reduced traffic and delay to help should individuals get into difficulty. This would also then put further unnecessary strain on the emergency services. Taken together I think the advice to avoid recreational use is still correct.
The role of the Regional Rowing Council in this is to be challenging around the continued necessity for restrictions advised by partners, and at the earliest opportunity help clubs get their members back out on the water. The complexity and uncertainty of the lockdown means it is challenging to plan ahead.
Luke Dillon, Chairman, TRRC