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Navigation rules for rowing boats on the river Thames are not consistent along its length. The current arrangement on the Tideway allows rowers to "work the slacks" to minimise some of the hazards of rowing on what can be a fast flowing tidal river, with bridges, moorings, and sandbanks.


Those who are familiar with the Upper Thames and the Tideway, as well as those who are new to the river, or who are visiting for training or racing, are urged to familairise yourselves with the current navigation arrangements.


Tideway Code of Practice


The Code of Practice for Rowing on the Tideway was revised in 2019. Whilst the basic navigation of the river has not changed, the rules should now be more easily understood.


Those boating on the Tideway should not assume that they "know" what the real rules are, as some previously widespread practices and shortcuts, will not be tolerated.


The PLA, in conjunction with the Thames Regional Rowing Council, produced the code in booklet form and a detailed map in A0 size. The booklet is available to download from the PLA website, along with other guidance documents, at the link below:


Tideway Code Booklet

Tideway Code Poster Upper

Tideway Code Poster Lower


Steering on the Tideway


An eight-page introduction to steering on the tideway is available to download from the link below.


Introduction to Steering on the Tideway

Notices for the Club Safety Board


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