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1. That the race shall remain under the control of the Jesus College Boat Club

2. That the races shall be rowed on the ninth (9th) Thursday and the ninth (9th) Friday of the Michaelmas term. The Novice VIIIs shall row on Thursday, and the Senior College and Invitational VIIIs and IVs on Friday.


Entries and Eligibility Criteria

3. General

a. That the races shall be open to Men’s and Women’s VIIIs; and Men’s and Women’s coxed IVs.

i. That only Women’s crews may race in Women’s races. Subject to approval of the Fairbairns Secretary, mixed crews may race in the Men’s races, where up to half the crew may be oarswomen. Coxswains of any crew may be male or female.

ii. Rowers who do not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth may row in the division best fitting their gender identity, subject to rules 3.e to 3.j of the CUCBC Regulations for Racing.

b. That crews may row in any design of boat they choose, subject to the Rules of Racing outlined by British Rowing. There will not be separate categories for shell and clinker-built boats.

c. It is required that each crew member should have completed a minimum of eight (8) practice outings, and the coxswain must have steered the appropriate course in its entirety, prior to race day.

d. That the coxswain or an appropriate representative of every novice crew wishing to race must have attended the Clare Novices Regatta meeting, where the Fairbairns Secretary shall offer information and advice about the Races.

4. College Divisions

a. That only resident bona fide student members of the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, or Durham , be eligible to row or steer in the ‘College Divisions’ of the Fairbairn Cup Races. For the purposes of the regulation, a bona fide student is defined as one who is in statu pupillari and is therefore:

i. a matriculated member of a College; and

ii. currently reading for a recognised degree of the University; and fulfilling the University residence requirements in both time and place.

b. That bona fide degree students at Anglia Ruskin University (rowing as Anglia Ruskin Boat Club) be deemed equivalent to Members of a College.

c. That for purposes of the Fairbairn Cup Races, the Clinical Medical and Veterinary Schools may also compete, and shall be deemed as equivalent to a College. Members of the Clinical Medical School may compete for their College or for the School until the end of the academic year in which they sit their final exams.

d. That Postgraduate members of the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford or Durham be eligible to compete for their College in the Fairbairn Cup Races until the end of the term in which they sit their first viva voce or other final examination.

e. That current trialists for Cambridge University Boat Club or their Oxford and Durham equivalents, may not row or steer in ‘College divisions’ as a member of his/her College VIII or IV. University boats are permitted to race, but for time only.

f. That other Members of the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford or Durham may compete as a member of the crew in a College Division only with the approval of the Fairbairns Secretary, and that such approval must be sought within the first six (6) weeks of Michaelmas term.

g. That composite crews are permitted to race, but for time only.

i. That this excludes coxswains, and crews from the Clinical Medical and Veterinary Schools.

ii. That those exempt according to CUCBC Rules for Racing 4 are also exempt from this rule.

5. Invitational Divisions

That crews containing members who do not meet the eligibility criteria, as defined in Rule 4, shall be eligible to enter and race in the appropriate Fairbairn Cup ‘Invitational Divisions’.

6. Status

a. That, for the purposes of the Fairbairn Cup Races, a ‘Novice’ crew is one in which no rower has rowed, and no coxswain has coxed prior to October of the current year.

b. That college 1st Lent and May VIII colours may not row in crews below their 2nd VIII.

7. Entries

a. That no college may enter more than four (4) Men’s and four (4) Women’s Novice and Senior crews. However, the Fairbairns Secretary may grant permission for a larger entry by a single college if, in so doing, the total number of entries does not exceed the maximum number of crews that can be accommodated within the Marshalling Areas. Permission shall not be confirmed until after the closing date for entries.

b. That the entrance fee be payable to ‘Jesus College Boat Club’.

c. That the Fairbairns Secretary shall determine the order of the start, based upon a combination of the finishing order of the previous year’s races, along with the Fairbairns Secretary's judgement on the relative speed of crews. In the interests of safety and fairness (Rule 13.a), if a crew is considered to be substantially slower than the crew achieving the previous year’s finishing position, they may be started towards the end of the start order, upon application to the Fairbairns Secretary. If a boat club deems one of its crews to be significantly faster than the crew in front and can provide evidence to that effect (e.g. times from other races), the start order may be changed or the time gap between the two crews may be increased at the discretion of the Fairbairns Secretary. Requests for a change in start order or an increased time gap should be submitted to the Fairbairns Secretary not later than seven (7) days before the start of the races.

d. That notice of ‘scratching’ from a race should be given to the Fairbairns Secretary in writing with a full explanation of the reasons for doing so. Reimbursement of entry fees shall be at the discretion of the Fairbairns Secretary.

e. That boat sharing is permitted, but on the understanding that it is done at the crews’ and respective Colleges’ own risk. Divisions shall not be delayed to accommodate boat sharing and penalties (Rule 16) will apply if a boat sharing crew is late to arrive in the Start Marshalling Area. Details of any boat sharing requirements should be given with the club’s application for entry.

f. That each division slot will only contain crews of the same class. Crews which wish to race at another division time will row for time only. This does not apply for Invitational VIII’s who are permitted to participate in either the first or second senior divisions.

g. That each division slot will only contain crews of the same class. Crews which wish to race at another division time will row for time only. This does not apply for Invitational VIII’s who are permitted to participate in either the first or second senior divisions.


8. British Rowing Code of Practice for Water Safety

That it is the responsibility of each crew to ensure that they comply with the Water Safety Guidelines detailed by British Rowing (BR), with particular regard to heel restraints, bow balls and coxes’ life-jackets. A full copy of the BR Water Safety Code can be found at A crew deemed not to meet the required safety standards will not be allowed to race.

Crews must also ensure they have familiarised themselves with the Event Safety Plan found here

9. Cancellation of Racing

That the final decision to cancel racing, as a result of adverse water or weather conditions, or other exceptional circumstances, shall be made by the JCBC Fairbairns Secretary after consultation with the organising committee and following advice from the CUCBC Chairman or his/her nominated deputy. In the event of a cancellation, full reimbursement of entry fees cannot be guaranteed, as a result of expenses incurred prior to Race Day. Every attempt will be made to inform affected crews directly and/or via the CUCBC Contacts list as soon as the decision is made.

10. Liability

That Jesus College Boat Club does not accept any fault or liability on the behalf of crews or their equipment for accidents which are not a direct result of negligence on the part of the event organisers.

11. Bank Parties

          To ensure safety of riverside users, there is a limit of four (4No.) people per bank party.

The Race

112. Proceeding to the Start and Start Marshalling

a. That all crews must proceed directly to the Start Marshalling Area, having boated from their boat house. Crews may go for a warm-up paddle at the start of the day but must clear the river by 8:30am. Any crew found paddling in a downstream direction outside of the Start Marshalling Area after 8:30 am but prior to the start of their division shall be disqualified, or, at the discretion of the Fairbairns Secretary, allowed to race for time only. For the purposes of the regulation, the Start Marshalling Area is defined as the section of river downstream of Jesus Lock and upstream of the flagpole at Jesus College Boat House. Crews should warm up on land and bring sufficient clothing to stay warm whilst marshalling.

b. That the first ten (10) crews within each division shall be within the Start Marshalling Area 30 minutes before the published division start time. The remaining crews shall be within the Start Marshalling Area 20 minutes before the division start time.

c. That crews boating from boat houses upstream of Jesus College Boat House must also be on the water by these times unless specifically instructed otherwise by a race marshal. Crews must clear the slipways as quickly as possible to facilitate movement of other crews within the circulation pattern.

d. That crews shall follow the circulation pattern within the Start Marshalling Area. A detailed map can be found at

e. That crews may get out of their boat within the Start Marshalling Area, only if they have located and manoeuvred themselves into their marshalling position and the suitability of that location allows them to do so. All crew members shall get back into their boat when instructed to do so by a Race Marshal.

f. That crews must obey the instructions of Race Marshals at all times.

13. The Start

a. That unless otherwise specified or instructed by the Start Marshal, a crew’s rolling start shall begin at the flagpole on top of Goldie Boat House, with the call of "Attention, Go” from the Start Marshal.

b. That all crews must obey the Start Marshal’s instructions.

c. That crews shall be assumed to have reached Race Pace and that race timing shall begin as the bow ball passes the flagpole outside Jesus College Boat House.

14. Overtaking and Obstructions

a. That no crew in any category shall attempt to overtake before Men’s Bumps Top Finish (i.e. the post immediately downstream of Chesterton Footbridge).

b. That any boat being overtaken shall, in good time, give way to the faster crew; causing minimal obstruction and, where possible, clear the racing line.

c. That, in the event of deliberate or avoidable impedance, the offending crew shall be liable to an appropriate penalty at the discretion of the Fairbairns Secretary, having reviewed recommendations by the witnessing race umpire(s). For the purposes of the regulation, a deliberate or avoidable impedance is defined as a failure to give way following three (3) or more warnings from the race umpire(s).

d. That the coxswain of the overtaking crew shall make known their intentions to overtake well in advance.

15. The Finish

a. That the finish for all Senior College and Invitational VIII divisions will be at the Little Bridge downstream of the A14 Motorway Bridge and up stream of Baitsbite Lock. The finish for all Novice VIII divisions will be at the Railings on the Long Reach. The finish for all IVs divisions shall be at the Red Grind Post (i.e. the upstream post opposite the Plough). Photographs of the finishes may be found at

b. That each crew shall be deemed to have finished when the bow ball passes the appropriate finish line.

c. That timing shall be to the nearest second.

d. That if two crews achieve race times (including time penalties) within 1.00 seconds of each other, they shall be deemed to have tied.

e. That a full list of provisional times (inclusive of any time penalties) will be available either at the Jesus College Boat House or at as soon as possible after racing.

16. Finish Marshalling

a. That, having passed the Finish Line, crews shall reduce their speed appropriately but continue rowing until instructed to stop and spin by a race marshal, at which point they sha;l marshal on the towpath side of the river in positions indicated by the race marshals.

b. That crews shall assemble and await permission from a race marshal to row back to their boat house after all crews have finished racing on the course. Coxswains must ensure that each crew member has brought sufficient dry clothing to stay warm after the race.

c. That all crews competing in the last division of the day, or the bank parties thereof, be required to carry lights and that these be fitted to boats rowing back to their boathouses later than 15 minutes before Lighting Up as defined by CUCBC.

d. That crews from Jesus College Boat Club shall be permitted to return unimpeded to facilitate the marshalling of the following divisions.

Penalties, Disputes, and Appeals

17. Penalties

The following penalties shall be awarded for any disregard of the rules and regulations, supra:

  • Repeated failure to obey a marshal’s instructions (2 secs per offence)

  • Late arrival at Start Marshalling Area (5 secs)

  • Lateboating from slip-ways within Start Marshalling Area (definition: Rule 11.a) (5 secs)

  • Warm-up paddle after 8:30 am (Race for time only)

  • Bank party of 5No. or more people (5 secs)

  • Overtaking before Men’s Top Finish (DSQ)

  • Deliberate impedance of a faster crew (definition: Rule 13.c) (Race for time only)

  • Failure to continue rowing after crossing Finish (5 secs)

  • Proceeding to row back to boat house without permission from a finish marshal (Race for time only

  • Other (affecting running of Races or causing unfair disadvantage to another crew) (2-10 secs)

  • Other (affecting Safety of any competitor, official, bank party or spectator) (DSQ)

N.B. Should any offence above be deemed to affect the safety of competitors/others then the penalty shall instead be a disqualification. All penalties are at the discretion of the Fairbairns Secretary.

18. Disputes and Appeals

a. That, in the event of a dispute or an appeal, a single representative of each affected crew shall be permitted to state their case in front of the Fairbairns Secretary and must do so at the earliest possible moment, within four (4) hours of the published division start time. The Fairbairns Secretary, or a nominated representative, can be found at or in the vicinity of Jesus College Boat House throughout the two days of racing.

b. That the final decision regarding penalties and disputes shall be made by the Fairbairns Secretary, who may take evidence from the affected parties and any witnessing race marshal or umpire. Advice may also be sought from others at the discretion of the Fairbairns Secretary.


Rule Changes, Additions and Enquiries

19. That Jesus College Boat Club may alter, at any time, any of the rules and regulations supra, but that all efforts will be made to ensure that reasonable notice shall be given to all Clubs concerned.

20. That the instructions and guidelines outlined separately in the document ‘Coxes Notes’ shall be considered as constituting an additional and enforceable part of these rules and regulations, and that crews are expected to have consulted them prior to racing.

21. That all enquiries regarding these rules and regulations and their application shall be directed to the Fairbairns Secretary, Jesus College Boat Club, at

22. That these rules, and any such other information regarding the organisation and running of the Fairbairn Cup Races may be found at

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