CUWBC Alumna Volunteering at European Championships

Clare Briegal (Blondie 1984) was a volunteer at the European Rowing Championships in Glasgow recently and sent in this report

“Last week I joined 4000 others who had given up their time to be a part of #TEAM2018 – the volunteers for the European Championships Glasgow 2018 and more specifically to assist in the delivery of the European Rowing Championships at Strathclyde Country Park.

The umpires (International Technical Officials) were appointed by FISA (the international federation for rowing) but all the other sport related roles from marshals and launch drivers on the water to those working on the land including sports information, athlete services, control commission and so on are appointed by the event Organising Committee.

I was appointed to boat weighing – all boats must comply with the FISA regulations which state the minimum weight for each class of boat.  Any non-conformances may lead to relegation in a race to last position or complete elimination from the competition for a second fail.  Athletes and coaches visit the boat weighing tent regularly during the training days to monitor the weight of their boats.  Too heavy and they may be at a disadvantage, too light and they could be heading for trouble.  Weather conditions make a difference – when it’s damp the boats absorb water and the difference, a few hundred grams, can be significant.  My role was to chaperone the boats from the landing stage to the boat weighing tent to ensure they were not tampered with after racing to add weight.

We had one failure during the four days of racing – the underweight boat was relegated to 6th – fortunately for the crew it was in a ‘test race’ for lanes.

Volunteering at major events is always a great way to catch up with old rowing friends and meet new ones.  Our boat weighing team included three of us who volunteer each year as officials at the Boat Races – umpire Judith Packard (Oxford) and assistant umpires Carolyn Smith (Oxford) and myself.  Many other familiar faces from CUWBC were at the venue in volunteering roles – it’s a great way to stay involved with the sport.”