Race protests – when, how, why

rowing race protest, how to penalise regatta, penalties rowing race, rowing umpire protest

When can a crew protest a race result or infringement? It’s important to know what is allowed, how to do it and what happens if you are successful in protesting.


02:00 Race organisers can have local rules – e.g. penalise interference and going through the wrong arch of a bridge.

04:00 Roger Milne’s story at Rio Olympics where he was umpiring and had to wait to see if the crew was going to protest

06:00 Anne Buckingham know when to protest. There are time limits.


07:00 How to prove you got interfered with? Coxes may run a go pro video which can be useful. Marshalls and umpires don’t always see every infraction.

10:00 Dead heating at – Henley Royal Regatta and Luzern If your protest is upheld and you were disadvantaged, the outcome is to penalise the other crew – you won’t get a faster time.

Know your rights

12:00 Know your rights – when can you protest and what you can protest. 15-00 Womens Eights Head Of the River Race obey the marshall’s instructions. This crew was disqualified BEFORE the race started because they disobeyed. Check the race rules – hearsay may be wrong information.

19:00 Head Of The Charles Regatta you can be penalised before you even leave the dock.

22:00 At the London Olympics LM2X protest was about equipment breakage in the first 100 meters of the race. It was stopped, the breakage repaired and the race re-started

25:00 In the Tokyo Olympics M4- final the British did obstruct the Italians but they didn’t protest. It would have disqualified the other crew. Think about the consequences of a protest.

How to sit on a rowing seat comfortably

28:00 Has to sit on a rowing seat. This affects your ability to set your body angle. Sit in a pelvic neutral position Your sit bones enter the holes in the seat. If you sit too far back “on your pockets” you have to flex your spine in order to get body angle. An exercise to improve this – sit on the floor with your legs straight. Put your hands on your knees and walk your fingers down your shins.

33:00 Adjustment of your sitting position while rowing. If you need to do this – do it in one stroke.

34:00 Make sure the seat fits you. You can sand out the holes in a wooden seat top to suit yourself. Different manufacturers’ seat tops can be switched.

37:00 Custom seat tops – George Sharrow and Carl Douglas both offer these services. Carl suggests using florists’ oasis foam to sit on and get a perfect mould of your backside. Comfort helps you sit with a neutral pelvis.

When to protest a race outcome
HOCR race protests, what you can do

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