- The Event and its Rules come under the auspices of the Thames Barge Driving Trust (The Trust) and the Watermen’s Company (The Company) Event Organising Committee.
- Administrative Rules will be enforced by offenders receiving a penalty and being disqualified from winning a Trophy, but they may take part. Event Rules will be enforced by the Senior Event Umpire who will also be the Start and Finish Judge, assisted by three course Umpires, one of which will be the Protest Umpire. The Senior Event Umpire shall have power to impose the penalty set out in these rules. In the event of no such penalty being listed the Senior Event Umpire may reprimand, add a time penalty to the competing craft’s finish time, and/or disqualify a craft and its crew.
- Event Fees
A. Failure to pay entry fees by the final pre-Event meeting will incur an additional penalty of £30.
B. Failure to pay entry fees by the start of the Event will incur an additional £30 penalty
- Those who fail to pay their entry fee and incur penalties may participate in the Event but will not be placed and cannot win any Event trophies or prizes and will start the Event from the last rank.
- The Trust has the right to refuse entry to any crew or barge at their discretion.
- Vessels that can enter are; Traditional Thames Small Barge (punts) or replicas thereof in modern materials, Wooden Oars (Sweeps) and allied equipment. Artificial means of propulsion, sail, masts, open scuttle tops and crutch outriggers etc are prohibited. Covered in craft to have all sheets secured fast.
- The Event Organising Committee reserves the right to inspect or weigh any barges entering the Event in order to rank them.
- Crews shall be licensed Watermen and Lightermen or Apprentices bound to The Company, other crew members may be permitted, subject to special dispensation from the Events Committee, which notification should be requested at least One week in advance of the start of the Event.
- All barges must display their Barge ID number (selected at random before the 2016 Event) on either side of the Bow, in a two foot circle, black numbers on a white background and will remain with the Barge for the lifetime of craft. Any additional Barges after this date will be allocated the next sequential number (i.e. 11, 12, 13 and so on).
- Each Barge must collect at least one pennant from the Target Barges during the Event but the Winning Barge will incur a 5-minute time penalty for the following years Event and must collect at least two pennants from the Target Barges during the Event.
- Three sweeps to be used throughout the Event, with one man to each oar. Oars must be out of the water when crew members change over.
- Adequate Safety and Lifesaving equipment (Two x Life Rings one with a line attached, One x Hitching, Two x Mooring Lines of 35mm dia. by 7 meters long to be laid out on the centre beam of the hatch) which must be on display 30-minutes prior to the Event for inspection and for the duration of the Event.
- In the interest of safety, all crews must wear life jackets when going afloat and going ashore; also when any crew member is jumping across from the Race Barge to a Target Pennant Barge and back must wear a life jacket, failing to adhere to this rule will incur automatic disqualification.
- Deliberate baulking, unfair tactics etc. may lead to a penalty or disqualification.
- Advertising, sponsors messages, barge decorations and crew dress to be team livery, dignified and non controversial; non compliance to incur a 5 minute penalty but each barge will be permitted one late substitute crew member in different livery without incurring a penalty.
- Crew must conduct themselves with dignity, muster on time, attend the after Event presentation in costume and comply with all directives, rulings and instructions issued by the Officials of the Event Organising Committee.
- Any objections to be raised by the crews skipper to be made only to the Protest Umpire before the start of the presentation ceremony at Greenwich. The ceremony may proceed “under protest” and the determination of a protest would take place after the event.
- The crew skipper will have sole responsibility for his crews behaviour and adherence to the Event Rules.
- Rules pertaining to optional special Event sections will be published in the relevant event programme.
- The Overall Winning Barge cannot compete for any other Event trophy and Prize other than the Main Event Trophy.
- Any crew jumping the start will be given a yellow flag by the Umpire, which must be flown throughout the Event. A mandatory minimum time penalty of 10 minutes will be imposed. The offending crew will be notified during the Event and the decision will be broadcast to all over the VHF radio.
- Once under Starters Orders no changes to crew personnel are allowed.
- Penalties: At the ultimate discretion of the Senior Event Umpire and the Event Coordinator; according to the seriousness of the offence penalties can include the following:
A. Time penalties range from a minimum of 5 minutes to a maximum of 10 minutes.
B. Failure of the crew to observe dress in accordance with the team livery or the Event Theme throughout the Event incurs a penalty of 5 minutes, unless a dispensation has been given under Rule 15 above.
C. Race Day disqualification is within the power of the Event Organising Committee.
D. Long term disqualification is within the power of the Event Organising Committee.
E. Failure to wear a life jacket whilst jumping for a Pennant will incur disqualification.
F. Life Jackets may be signed out on loan to Skippers at briefing. Jackets not returned in their bags will incur a charge of £60.00 per jacket to the skipper of the barge, this also applies to damaged jackets.