Common Sense Winter Sculling
I've just been reading about capsizes in sculling boats and would like to suggest the following.
As we go into winter and the water is getting colder we need to make sure that getting out of an upturned boat is an automatic reaction, not a " follow the rule book, page by page." situation. The shock of falling in and the shock of the cold water precludes any lucid thought.
Don't go sculling on your own. Either go out with another boat or somebody on the towpath.
Wear a brightly coloured top for better visibility.
Strongly test the heel straps, before boating, esp. if they are leather. I would suggest that the heel restraints should only allow about 2 inches of heel lift.
Better to have Tom crap on you for a broken strap than to find that they break when you are upside down and your feet are still trapped. Work on ankle flexibility, Achilles etc.
Do not tie or Velcro your feet in the shoes, keep the shoes open. Better for your rowing as well as being safer.
When you have pushed off, test, try to get your feet out quickly without using your hands, remember that in the water your legs and feet will most likely be twisted as you try to get your head above water.
Ian Hunter - 30th Sept 2004