Navigation Rules

At the December 2002 meeting of the Monmouth Rowing Association the following rules were approved for publication.

The Monmouth Rowing Association represents the joint interests of:

  • Monmouth Rowing Club

  • Monmouth School Rowing Club
  • Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls Rowing Club

  • Monmouth Comprehensive School Boat Club

ALL users and visitors to the River Wye at Monmouth are requested to read and take note of these rules which are followed by the home clubs in order to ensure mutual safety:


 1.      Between the Boathouse and the Leys Bend, boats proceeding upstream must adhere to the Dixton bank (Boathouse side). Those proceeding downstream must adhere to the Hadnock side.


2.      At a given point between the cottages and the Leys Bend, the rule is reversed and boats must safely change sides.

During the summer, the depth of the river is such that we are normally restricted to training between the boathouse and the first set of overhead cables at the Hadnock Cottages – some 2,500 metres upstream of the boathouse. 

However, there are several rocks on the river bed which can present a danger. These are shown on the map at the 1,500 metres mark and, at times of low river levels, can be very close to the surface without being visible. The river can also become congested with weed, presenting a potential for capsize amongst single scullers, in particular.


In ideal conditions in the winter, we have the opportunity to train between the M.R.C. landing stage and the rapids at Symonds Yat, approximately 6 miles upstream. However, this is governed by four factors:


1.      Competence / experience / maturity of the athletes

2.      The types of boats used in training

3.      Depth of the river and the strength / speed of the current

4.      Weather conditions.


Beyond the Hadnock Cottages, the current and turbulence increases dramatically. The Leys Bend presents a number of hazards, including fast water, large & strong eddies, a rock island. There is also the prospect of unsighted and fast-moving crews returning downstream to the boathouses.


Further upstream, at approximately 4,000 metres from MRC., there is an island with relative shallows on either side. There are also underwater salmon croys or cribs protruding from the banks to the middle of the river. They are unmarked, invisible to crews and many have been constructed illegally. Because of the shallow water, it is imperative to proceed upstream and downstream on the Hadnock side of this island.


A further 2,000 metres upstream of the island is a Forestry Commission bridge. The water at this point can also be very fast and turbulent. Extreme caution is required if crews turn here as it is possible that they will be swept, uncontrolled, into the bank. Proceeding beyond the bridge, the water improves until crews approach the rapids at Symonds Yat, at which point, conditions deteriorate. It is essential that all boats turn well below the rapids.

The ‘golden rule’ when training –

“If in doubt about the conditions upstream – don’t go!”


Map of the river