Do you check your heel restraints?

The limit for your heel restraints has now changed.


Although the timing of the Rules of Racing updates falls on April Fools’ Day, the changes are certainly no practical joke. The main rule which affects the majority of rowers is the one about heel restraints, which is important for safety reasons. So whether you are about to go racing or heading out for a paddle you should always make sure you check your heel restraints.

Don’t forget your training miles are more than your racing miles, so check your restraints every outing and not just before every race.

Rule 2-3-8b of the Rules of Racing has been amended to bring it in line with FISA standards requiring each heel to be restrained to prevent it from rising higher than 7cm, as measured at right angles from the footplate. Furthermore, the heel restraint should be in working order and the foot release must be self-acting and not require the intervention of the athlete or a rescuer.

If you do turn up to a race and upon inspection your boat does not meet this new criteria, then you will not be able to boat until this has been fixed. If you cannot fix your boat to meet these requirements then you will not be able to race.

If you have any questions about how to assess this then please ask your club safety adviser or regional safety adviser.

For the full version of the Rules of Racing 2016 and an overview of other rule changes for 2016 click here.