Use of bow numbers in races

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Henry Law

Jan 10, 2022, 7:12:07 AMJan 10
In our head race we get competitor numbers printed in two sets: plain
paper ones which go on the rowers' backs (with pins) and self-adhesive
ones which are stuck either side of the bow of the boat. They're a pain
to get off, they're wasteful ...

But in respect of the boat numbers I know there is another way of doing
it: get a set of numbers printed, pre-applied to stiff sheet medium of
just the right size to go in the "Empacher slot" which these days is on
the bow of more or less every boat. This seems to me to be better in
almost every respect save one: how to get the numbers back once they've
been used!

Can someone familiar with the process tell me how it's organised and what
their experience of it is?

Henry Law n e w s @ l a w s h o u s e . o r g
Manchester, England

Kit Davies

Jan 10, 2022, 8:42:04 AMJan 10
IIRC the big Tideway heads have a £5 deposit to cover bow numbers. Put
your fiver in when you register, get it back when you return your
number. Whether its worth it IDK.



Jan 10, 2022, 6:01:15 PMJan 10
I'm the entries secretary of one of the Tideway heads. As with most of the Tideway heads, we don't charge a deposit for the bow number – partly because refunding hundreds of deposits is such a nuisance. Instead we charge clubs if the bow numbers aren't returned within a set time. We charge £15 for each number that isn't returned, but some Tideway heads charge as much as £30.

However, we regard bow numbers as an addition to numbers on rowers' backs or to stick-on numbers on the sides of boats and not as an alternative. One problem with bow numbers is that they can get knocked off, especially by other crews' oars when marshalling. Our competitors' instructions always tell crews to secure their bow number with a screw but most of them ignore the instruction.

Henry Law

Jan 11, 2022, 4:54:42 AMJan 11
On Mon, 10 Jan 2022 15:01:14 -0800, Malcolm wrote:

> Instead we charge clubs if the bow numbers aren't returned within a set
> time. We charge £15 for each number that isn't returned

Interesting, thank you. Sometimes you only find your mistakes (if this is
a mistake for us, that is) by doing it, so I'm recommending to the race
director that we get a set of boards printed, "reserve the right" to
charge clubs if they don't give them back, and give it a try this year.

"Good judgement comes from experience, but experience comes from bad
judgement" ...
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