top of page

Safety Information

Learning to row session
You need to confirm you can swim 50m before we can allow you in the boat – this is both for your safety and for the rest of the crew.

When preparing for a row consider your clothing, wear clothes that are comfortable and easy to move in, not jeans or anything that can restrict you. The same goes for your footwear, trainers or swim shoes are more appropriate. Also, it’s a good idea to bring gloves to protect/warm your hands and bring a drink, you will get thirsty.

You are going to get wet! It might be damp feet or simply splashes from oars but it’s wise to bring a change of clothing for your own comfort.

Before you get into the boat you will have to put on a life jacket, you cannot row without one. It is essential that every wearer is clear about how a life jacket should be used before going on the water.

Make sure that the straps are adjusted so that the life jacket fits well. Test this by placing your fist under the buckle. If there is a gap between your fist and your body your life jacket is too loose. Moreover, if you need to remove layers of clothing whilst rowing you may have to re- adjust your life jacket. Ensure the activation device, usually, a little pull cord, is visible and accessible. (pic)

Crotch/thigh straps are not fitted with every style of life jacket but are often an option to purchase. Where fitted they help to keep the life jacket in the correct place so that the wearer’s head is above water. This is particularly useful with smaller adult wearers and children. If fitted, crotch/thigh straps should be worn and certainly not left loose as they may become entangled. (pic)

Individual rowers must take responsibility for ensuring the life jacket that they wear is appropriate and that it is checked, maintained and fits properly.

Once you are seated in the boat it is likely you will be rowing around the ‘mole’ which is based in Barry dock. Before rowing, the cox will give instructions to make sure you’re sitting centrally on the seat and that you’re comfortable. There are footplates in front of you, which are adjustable, these will enable you to get yourself into the right position, the rower in front of you will be able to assist you if needed. You should have a slight bend in your knees once correctly positioned. The button/collar should always be in contact with the gate and when rowing the blade should be fairly close to the surface of the water. (pic)

When rowing a Celtic Longboat, you row with one oar, known as a ‘sweep’. There is a cox who is the only person to face forward and 4 other rowers. You all work as a team under the instruction of the cox, who communicates closely with the ‘stroke’ – the ‘stroke’ is the first rower facing the cox. Everyone follows the speed and movement of the ‘stroke’ oar.

To begin with, don’t worry about how much strength or power you apply, just make sure you’re seated right and you keep in time, the rest will fall into place the more practice you get. Sessions are weather dependent, we have easy launching from the pontoon at the mole, or if going out to sea, we launch from Whitmore Bay or Watchtower Bay – depending on how busy the beaches are.

Life Jackets will be provided for you to wear.

Please confirm that you can swim 50 metres or more

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page