Training in Winter on the lake

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Training in Winter on the lake

Winter is approaching with lower water temperatures in the lake.

It is important that all rowers wear sufficient layers of clothing, and that single scullers train with a friend.
A minimum of four oars in any training session is a recommendation that applies in winter, particularly if training in darkness. Four oars implies a double scull, or two singles, or a four (sweep-oared) rather than a pair.

I have re-posted the following advice from last winter.

Cold water can kill! Sudden immersion in cold water below 15C is potentially dangerous. The effects of cold water mean that even healthy, good swimmers can drown after a short period of time in the water. The UK Adopt the ‘One minute – One degree rule’ helps plan rescue ie. if the water temperature is 10C assume you will have 10 minutes of time to usefully get yourself out of the water.

The following (Potomac River Safety website) are recommendations for rowing (particularly in singles) in the winter in Canberra:

• Let others know you will be on the lake and when.
• Four Oar Rule- the boat must have a minimum of 4 oars on the water, or
• Buddy System- if individuals go out they should do so in pairs.
• Wear inflatable, compact, life vest or wet suit.
• Stay closer to shore.
• A noise maker of some kind should be carried in each shell and be attached in some manner so as not to be lost if the shell capsizes.

However, the only true safety device or practice other than common sense is a support/coaching launch. In the event of an emergency a well-prepared safety launch can assist the individuals in question and transport them to safety. Even then hypothermia is an issue. All individuals should ask themselves before launching if being on the water is the best and only way to train.

If there is a capsize it is a priority to get as much of your body out of the water as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to lie across the upturned hull of the boat.

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