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Coastal Rowing. A new challenging FISA umpiring event. Coastal Rowing and FISA Rules. FISA Rules of Racing applies to international coastal regattas with exception of special approved Regulations for this type of regatta. Rule 1 : A coastal rowing regatta is a regatta in which all

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Coastal rowing

Coastal Rowing

A new challenging FISA umpiring event

Coastal rowing and fisa rules
Coastal Rowing and FISA Rules

FISA Rules of Racing applies to international coastal

regattas with exception of special approved Regulations for

this type of regatta.

Rule 1: A coastal rowing regatta is a regatta in which all

Competitors use coastal rowing boats as defined in these

Regulations and where the competition course is on the open

sea or on a large inland body of water and in accordance with

these regulations.

Regulation rules 17 age
Regulation, Rules 17 – Age

  • Following age categories are recognized:


Men and Women

Boat classes
Boat Classes

  • Rule 28 – Classes of Boat

C1x - Men (M) and Women (W)

C2x - Men (M) and Women (W)

C4x- - Men (M) and Women (W)

C4+ - Men (M) and Women (W)

Coastal rowing1
Coastal Rowing

Control Commission

Coastal rowing boats
Coastal Rowing Boats

  • Rule 31 – Construction of Boats

1) Max. Overall length

2) Min. Weight of boat

  • Min. permitted width of boat

  • - Width overall

  • - Width of secondary beam measurement located from deepest point of boat

Coastal rowing boats 2
Coastal Rowing Boats (2)

  • All rowers mus be seated in line over the Axis of the boat and all coxed boats shall be designed so that the coxwain is required to sit upright to the stern of the rowers.

Coastal rowing boats 3
Coastal Rowing Boats (3)

  • Boat hulls must be self-bailing - i.e. water in boat shall be removed through special hatches by the forward movement of the boat

Coastal rowing boats 4
Coastal Rowing Boats (4)

  • All types of boats must have a cleat at the bow fitted with a 10 m buoyant line.

  • Loose end of the line at hand-reach of a rower

  • Ballast must be fixed securely in the structure of the boat

Coastal rowing boats 5
Coastal Rowing Boats (5)

  • Life jackets meeting international standards to every crew member. Coxwains must wear a life jacket at all times in the boat.

Each boat allowed to carry radio or telecommunication equipment permitted by the Organizing Committee or by the maritime authorithies (e.g. GPS system)

Coastal rowing boats 6
Coastal Rowing Boats (6)

  • All boats must register with the Organizing committee before training or competition.

  • Boats are allocated a registration ID number which must be displayed on both sides of the bow.

  • Boat number shall be min. 20 cm high and 8 cm wide in contrasting colour to the background

  • Coxwains shall be weighed according to FISA Rules of Racing

  • Crews shall present weigh note for coxwain and sign in before leaving the beach

  • Crews shall sign out after the race

  • Crews failing to register may be penalized.

Control commission
Control Commission

Example of Control Commission tasks:

  • Check safety equipment of boats

  • Check boat numbers before embarkment

  • Check all boats have returned after race

  • Check crews have signed out after race

Coastal rowing2
Coastal Rowing

Race Course and Umpires





Race course
Race Course

Organizing Committee shall ensure:

  • Fair and equal racing conditions for all crews

  • Courses shall be designed so that the progress of the race and the competing boats can be seen by spectators on shore

  • Course may be straight, rectangular, triangular or point to point

  • Course lenght between 6 and 12 Km at Int. Regattas

  • FISA Coastal Rowing Championship regatta – 8 Km

  • Same lenght for men and women


  • Umpires required at start:

  • Starter

    Starter positioned app. 150 meter behind the start line with a clear view of all boats. Starting signals shall be visible to all crews on the start line.

  • Umpires assisting starter

  • Judge at the start

Start procedure 1
Start Procedure (1)

Crews must be in the vicinity of the startline 5 min. before starting time and under starters control at least 2 min. before starting time.

  • Crews own responsibility to ensure it is aligned and not over the start line when race is started. Any crews not following instructions from Starter or Umpires at all time shall be penalized. After giving the 5-minute and the 1-minute signals respectively , the starter may start the race at the given time without reference to the positions of any crew.

  • 5 min. before the start the starter shall simultaneously

    • - hoist a red flag and a double black ball (each black ball shall be of such size as to be clearly visiblefrom the start line (not smaller than 50 cm Ø)

    • - sound a hooter in 5 short blasts


Start procedure 2
Start Procedure (2)

All boats shall remain close to the start. At the expiry of the 5 min the start can be given even if some boats have not reached the start position.

Each crew shall be responsible to be aware of the time remaining before the start. It is the responsibility of the crews to be as close to the start line as possible at the start time of the race and not cause a false start. There will be no instructions to crews concerning alignment unless the Judge at the Start considers that too many boats are over the start line and that the race cannot be started in a safe or fair manner.

One minute before the start, the Starter shall simultaneously

- hoistthe Preparatory signal, Flag P of the International Code and drop one of the two black balls; and

- sound a hooter in two short blasts

Start procedure 3
Start Procedure (3)

At the Start time, the Starter shall give the signal to start the race by quickly and simultaneously

- dropping the Race Flag and Flag P and the black ball; and

- sounding a hooter in one long blast.

Should the Judge at the Start consider that many crews are over the start line at the start time, or should the Starter find that many crews are late to the start, the Starter may delay the start at his sole discretion. Alternatively he may start the race on time and if appropriate may award penalties as provided in these Regulations and Rules.

Delays of Start:

Where the start of any specific boat category is delayed for any reason, the Starter shall inform the boat category or categories of the delay. Where the whole race is to be delayed the Starter shall lower all flags and signals and begin the 5 min. countdown process again when appropriate.







  • False start:

  • a number of boats (>1) then starter may decidetostop the race and start again.

  • Starter stop by making repeated short blasts on the hooter and by hoisting a red flag on the start mast

  • Crews committing false start shall each be awarded a one-minute time penalty and shall be informed by the Umpire or Starter

Race course and rules
Race Course and Rules

Rounding of a Turning Mark

Race course and rules1
Race Course and Rules

Example 1: Turning Mark priority within the turning zone (3 boatlengths before, 2 boatlengths after the buoy)

Race course and rules2
Race Course and Rules

Example 2: Turning Mark priority within the turning zone (3 boatlengths before, 2 boatlengths after the buoy)



Race course and rules3
Race Course and Rules

Penalties for obstructing priority rules:

  • Time penalty by discretion of Umpire

    • 15, 30 or 60 seconds

Race course and rules4
Race Course and Rules

  • No designated Start Zone

    • No material damage restart claim

  • Interference not allowed

    • a crews water is defined as that area taken up by the boat and the oars during the rowing stroke. No boat or boats may deliberately or otherwise cause interference to another boat which is on a course towards a turning marker or other course mark.

Race course and rules 2
Race Course and Rules (2)

Giving way

  • A boat must give way to an upcoming boat after being called and change course sufficiently to leave the crowded boat enough room or it may be penalized by the Umpire. (Time penalty by the discretion of the Umpire of 15, 30 or 60 seconds depending on the severity. )

  • Collision

    • In case of collisions (of boats or oars) and if one of the coxwains or captains protests, the Umpire shall decide who is at fault and may impose a penalty on the boat responsible for the collision.

  • Coastal rowing

    • Available penalties for the Jury (Reg., rule 87)

      • Reprimand

      • Time penalty

      • Yellow Card (applying until the start of the next race)

      • Relegation (in minimum boat weight violations)

      • Exclusion (from all the rounds of the event in question)

      • Disqualification (from all events in the regatta)

    • The Umpire may also order that a crew which has been interfered with be allowed to proceed to the next round of an event (where such rounds are held) if he considers that but for the interference the crew would have so progressed of its own accord.

    Coastal rowing

    • Reg., Rule 90 – The Umpire (1)

      The President of the Jury, in consultation with the Organizing Committee, shall

      decide the number of umpires to supervise each race. Where there is more

      than one Umpire, the Umpires shall have equal status in their areas of


    • The Umpire shall impose appropriate penalties on crews on fault.

    • The Umpire shall not give any steering indications to crews

    • Ensure that accidents are avoided and prevent crews from being impeded by their opponents

    • The Umpire may impose penalties during the race, stop the race impose penalties and order the race to be restarted either from the start or some other positions they held at the time the race was stopped

    Coastal rowing

    • Reg., Rule 90 – The Umpire (2)

    • Decide on new starting time after consultation with the President of the Jury

      and inform the crews concerned

    • Where the Umpire has serious doubts whether the impediment affected the result of the race or considers the effect of the impediment was not signifi-

      cant, he may decline to take any action or to take such action as he sees fit in the circumstances

    • The Umpire may also allow the rece to continue and impose penalties after the race has finished. However, in principle, if a crew is to be awarded a time penalty the Umpire should make every attempt to advise the crew at the time of the penalty is awarded by saying to the crew: ”(Boat number!)” – ”(reason for penalty)!” – ”(15 sec. / 30 sec. / One minute) Time Penalty!”

      The Umpire shall at the same time show to the crew a white board displaying the text ”15s” or ”30s” or ”60s” as appropriate

    Coastal rowing

    Thank you for your attention

    (c) Leif Egholm – Denmark

    FISA Umpire