26 Sep 2005 08:44:26
Stuart Jones
Heel Restraints

So there I was, out sculling yesterday, with a pretty nasty oil slick on
our river from some git throwing several litres of used engine oil into
the river upstream.

And I caught a floating weed raft with my left scull, and went swimming.
Fortunately I didn't swallow any oil.

Now, I'd checked the heel restraints in the boat I was using. They'd
passed a control commission at a head the previous weekend where IMHO
they were checked thoroughly.

I couldn't get my feet out. (Un)Fortunately, this has happened before,
in a boat made by the same manufacturer. The string heel restraints
worked fine - but where the footplate anchors to the bottom of the boat
- the black plastic notched bit - gave way and let the bottom footplate
bolt remove itself. Now, I'm 110kg and pretty strong (350kg+ leg press
max), and in that sort of situation, adrenaline gives you an extra 10%
power as well. That is, probably far more power than just giving the
heel restraints a sharp tug with the hands can mimic.

Fortunately, I knew I was going in (enough time to think "Oh sh*t don't
swallow any oil"), I'm tall so can easily keep my head above water while
still attached to the boat, and have long arms so I could reach under
and undo my feet.

The time this happened previously with the same manufacturer (actually
my first ever sculling outing), I actually ripped a hole in the bottom
of the boat, and not only ripped off the plastic where the footplate
attached at the bottom, but also at the top. So I wasn't attached to
the boat, but my feet were tied together.

How can we improve this situation? My thoughts on this particular
manufacturer (based in Ely) have been publicised recently, but now it
seems that their boats are not only crap, but dangerous also...


26 Sep 2005 01:23:44
tlog
Re: Heel Restraints

A friend of mine did exactly the same thing in a very nice well made
wooden scull last summer. He knocked a hole through the bottom of the
boat.
Perhaps it's the general system of attaching the bootom of the plate to
the boat that inherently wrong rather than singleing out one particular
boat builder.

I've seen some pretty dodgy design defects in some very reputable
boats, perhaps these wouldn't perform any better? Maybe time for a
rethink in this area.



26 Sep 2005 10:38:34
Stuart Jones
Re: Heel Restraints

tlog wrote:
> A friend of mine did exactly the same thing in a very nice well made
> wooden scull last summer. He knocked a hole through the bottom of the
> boat.
> Perhaps it's the general system of attaching the bootom of the plate to
> the boat that inherently wrong rather than singleing out one particular
> boat builder.
>
> I've seen some pretty dodgy design defects in some very reputable
> boats, perhaps these wouldn't perform any better? Maybe time for a
> rethink in this area.
>

To qualify that, I've fallen out of a scull 3 times in 4 years - the two
occasions I mentioned earlier, and once out of a Janousek. The heel
restraints in the Janousek worked as intended. But I agree, it's more
than likely not just one manufacturer in the world.


26 Sep 2005 04:40:40
Re: Heel Restraints

It is extremely difficult for Control Commission at a competition to
judge whether an oarsperson can remove their feet quickly and safely
from a boat, when their only real method of assessing this is when the
boat is presneted for checking (usually on dry land). Even where heel
restraints appear to be effective, the design of the shoe makes foot
exit difficult. My own crew had the use of a Fillippi boat from one of
the region's top universities,and I found the shoes just gripped my
entire foot too tightly by way of the shoe design (blue Adidas shoes
with three velcro straps across the bridge of the foot).

As an Umpire, I encourage Control Commission to give a pretty forceful
tug on shoes, and if anything breaks, I feel you could be sure it would
have broken if deployed in a real life capsize situation. However, I
have also heard of rowers who had difficulty extracting feet in a
capsize, and from many different designs of fitment.

The 'cycle shoe' clips look pretty effective, but the ones I examined
were very heavy.

Ken Hastie
Chairman, ARA North Regional Umpires Commission



26 Sep 2005 13:25:20
Carl Douglas
Re: Heel Restraints

ken@hastie.org.uk writes
>It is extremely difficult for Control Commission at a competition to
>judge whether an oarsperson can remove their feet quickly and safely
>from a boat, when their only real method of assessing this is when the
>boat is presneted for checking (usually on dry land). Even where heel
>restraints appear to be effective, the design of the shoe makes foot
>exit difficult. My own crew had the use of a Fillippi boat from one of
>the region's top universities,and I found the shoes just gripped my
>entire foot too tightly by way of the shoe design (blue Adidas shoes
>with three velcro straps across the bridge of the foot).
>
>As an Umpire, I encourage Control Commission to give a pretty forceful
>tug on shoes, and if anything breaks, I feel you could be sure it would
>have broken if deployed in a real life capsize situation. However, I
>have also heard of rowers who had difficulty extracting feet in a
>capsize, and from many different designs of fitment.
>
>The 'cycle shoe' clips look pretty effective, but the ones I examined
>were very heavy.
>
>Ken Hastie
>Chairman, ARA North Regional Umpires Commission
>

Ken -

One serious problem with heel restraints is that they are frequently far
too long. Once the heel has risen enough to cause significant curl of
the shoe sole, the heel is pulled ever tighter onto the rower's foot,
jamming the foot into the shoe. It then becomes very
difficult/impossible to extract the foot even by a tug (it ought to come
out very easily) and entrapment is a strong possibility.

A dangerous & unsafe rule that I often hear being applied is that the
shoe heel should not rise above horizontal. That is _far_ too high &
causes just the problem I have described. Whoever suggested that this
was appropriate had no understanding whatever of the mechanics of foot
release. I don't know why whatever ARA guidance there might be (if any)
on this matter does not outlaw such an arrangement.

The only simple & safe rule is that:
The heel should not be able to rise by more than 5cm from the surface of
the stretcher. That will normally permit effortless extraction, even
from tight-fitting shoes.

Cheers -
Carl
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



26 Sep 2005 06:03:41
Rob Collings
Re: Heel Restraints

Carl Douglas wrote:
> A dangerous & unsafe rule that I often hear being applied is that the
> shoe heel should not rise above horizontal. That is _far_ too high &
> causes just the problem I have described. Whoever suggested that this
> was appropriate had no understanding whatever of the mechanics of foot
> release. I don't know why whatever ARA guidance there might be (if any)
> on this matter does not outlaw such an arrangement.

ARA Rule of racing 2-3-8 contains:

> heel restraints. All boats where "fitted shoes" are employed must have
> effective heel restraints. These must be properly adjusted (The heel should be
> prevented from rising higher than the lowest fixed point of the shoe) and in
> working order.

I generally find that the shortest setting on the leather straps
(unlike the longest setting that most people use) is more than loose
enough to row with and that it isn't easy to tie string too tight for
rowing.

Rob.



26 Sep 2005 14:44:39
Carl Douglas
Re: Heel Restraints

Rob Collings <robin.collings@gmail.com > writes
>Carl Douglas wrote:
>> A dangerous & unsafe rule that I often hear being applied is that the
>> shoe heel should not rise above horizontal. That is _far_ too high &
>> causes just the problem I have described. Whoever suggested that this
>> was appropriate had no understanding whatever of the mechanics of foot
>> release. I don't know why whatever ARA guidance there might be (if any)
>> on this matter does not outlaw such an arrangement.
>
>ARA Rule of racing 2-3-8 contains:
>
>> heel restraints. All boats where "fitted shoes" are employed must have
>> effective heel restraints. These must be properly adjusted (The heel
>>should be
>> prevented from rising higher than the lowest fixed point of the shoe) and in
>> working order.
>

That's the one I had in mind.

That length of restrain is no restraint at all. It is just about long
enough to give the pretence of being a restraint but to actually allow
the shoe in many cases to entrap & kill.

This is exactly what happens when a fundamentally good system is
regulated by a bunch of people who:
1. Simply don't understand the mechanics of the system
2. Wouldn't dream of asking the technical advice of its originator (me)
3 Wouldn't dream of testing it for themselves to find out what the best
dimensions should be

Grrrr!

Thanks Rob -

Carl
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



26 Sep 2005 06:52:55
Re: Heel Restraints


Stuart Jones wrote:
> So there I was, out sculling yesterday

This is surely a 'no brainer', and should be obvious to anyone who's
taken an unplanned swim;

Most people have a few pairs of 'real' shoes. Some of these can be
slipped off very easily, without undoing anything; some you're not
going to get out of without fully loosening the laces/velcro. So guess
which you need to mimic in the boat ?

When I get into my boat I always lift my heels till they're just coming
out of the shoe, then I loosley fasten the velcro. OK - they're not as
secure as e.g. a pair of squash shoes would have to be, but if your
feet need to be attached to the boat that much, surely there's
something wrong ?

Paul Waller



26 Sep 2005 07:19:52
Rob Collings
Re: Heel Restraints

Carl Douglas wrote:
> The ARA writes
> > (The heel should be prevented from rising higher than the lowest
> > fixed pointof the shoe) and in working order.

> That length of restrain is no restraint at all. It is just about long
> enough to give the pretence of being a restraint but to actually allow
> the shoe in many cases to entrap & kill.

We should be about to bring in a club safety policy (it'll be the first
time I think we've had one) that will require all our heel restraints
to be kept pretty short. Can't remember how short, but 5cm rings a bell
and it is certainly much shorter than the SARA requirement. Reference
is made to that requirement and it's inadequacy - something along the
lines of chocolate teapots. I'm sure some people will take it on board,
but I will be interested to see how many people haven't bothered to
check or adjust them after a month or so. It sometimes seems to be
enough effort to get something done to hold the shoe down and while
making the restraint an effective length required no more physical
effort, I have my doubts as to how many people actually do it until you
stand over them watching.

Rob.



26 Sep 2005 17:56:37
Neil Wallace
Re: Heel Restraints

Stuart Jones wrote:
> I couldn't get my feet out. (Un)Fortunately, this has happened
> before, in a boat made by the same manufacturer. The string heel
> restraints worked fine - but where the footplate anchors to the
> bottom of the boat - the black plastic notched bit - gave way and let
> the bottom footplate bolt remove itself.

Reminds me of our capsize drill (indoor pool).
One of our scullers tugged so hard to get his feet out that the footplate
snapped in half.





26 Sep 2005 18:35:50
Henry Law
Re: Heel Restraints

Stuart Jones wrote:

> I couldn't get my feet out. (Un)Fortunately, this has happened before,
> in a boat made by the same manufacturer. The string heel restraints
> worked fine - but where the footplate anchors to the bottom of the boat
> - the black plastic notched bit - gave way and let the bottom footplate
> bolt remove itself. Now, I'm 110kg and pretty strong (350kg+ leg press
> max), and in that sort of situation, adrenaline gives you an extra 10%
> power as well. That is, probably far more power than just giving the
> heel restraints a sharp tug with the hands can mimic.
>
> Fortunately, I knew I was going in (enough time to think "Oh sh*t don't
> swallow any oil"), I'm tall so can easily keep my head above water while
> still attached to the boat, and have long arms so I could reach under
> and undo my feet.

My experience is similar (Google for "anatomy of a capsize"): despite
the heel restraints being in good order and according to spec, both I
and my pair partner got a foot hung up. And he broke the footplate
getting his out.


26 Sep 2005 19:19:05
David Biddulph
Re: Heel Restraints

"Stuart Jones" <user@domain.invalid > wrote in message
news:4337a6ff$0$27022$da0feed9@news.zen.co.uk...
> So there I was, out sculling yesterday, with a pretty nasty oil slick on
> our river from some git throwing several litres of used engine oil into
> the river upstream.
>
> And I caught a floating weed raft with my left scull, and went swimming.
> Fortunately I didn't swallow any oil.
>
> Now, I'd checked the heel restraints in the boat I was using. They'd
> passed a control commission at a head the previous weekend where IMHO they
> were checked thoroughly.
>
> I couldn't get my feet out. (Un)Fortunately, this has happened before, in
> a boat made by the same manufacturer. The string heel restraints worked
> fine - but where the footplate anchors to the bottom of the boat - the
> black plastic notched bit - gave way and let the bottom footplate bolt
> remove itself. Now, I'm 110kg and pretty strong (350kg+ leg press max),
> and in that sort of situation, adrenaline gives you an extra 10% power as
> well. That is, probably far more power than just giving the heel
> restraints a sharp tug with the hands can mimic.

Of course you are correct about thev strength of the tug, but there are
still countless crews who complain that a control commission umpire has
pulled too hard if they snap a heel restraint with their hands. Your point
is a valid and salutary one, and needs to be taken on board by anyone
checking heel restraints, which of course means primarily the competitors.
The other important point for competitors to remember is that problems
getting feet out are often caused by the shoes being laced up more tightly
than is necessary.

> Fortunately, I knew I was going in (enough time to think "Oh sh*t don't
> swallow any oil"), I'm tall so can easily keep my head above water while
> still attached to the boat, and have long arms so I could reach under and
> undo my feet.
>
> The time this happened previously with the same manufacturer (actually my
> first ever sculling outing), I actually ripped a hole in the bottom of the
> boat, and not only ripped off the plastic where the footplate attached at
> the bottom, but also at the top. So I wasn't attached to the boat, but my
> feet were tied together.
>
> How can we improve this situation? My thoughts on this particular
> manufacturer (based in Ely) have been publicised recently, but now it
> seems that their boats are not only crap, but dangerous also...

I'm glad that the consequences weren't more serious, as they could easily
have been. I hope that the incident report is on its way to your RWSA,
copied to the ARA?
--
David Biddulph
Rowing web pages at http://www.biddulph.org.uk/
and http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/david_biddulph/




26 Sep 2005 12:45:47
Re: Heel Restraints


ken@hastie.org.uk wrote:
> It is extremely difficult for Control Commission at a competition to
> judge whether an oarsperson can remove their feet quickly and safely
> from a boat, when their only real method of assessing this is when the
> boat is presneted for checking (usually on dry land). Even where heel
> restraints appear to be effective, the design of the shoe makes foot
> exit difficult. My own crew had the use of a Fillippi boat from one of
> the region's top universities,and I found the shoes just gripped my
> entire foot too tightly by way of the shoe design (blue Adidas shoes
> with three velcro straps across the bridge of the foot).
>
> As an Umpire, I encourage Control Commission to give a pretty forceful
> tug on shoes, and if anything breaks, I feel you could be sure it would
> have broken if deployed in a real life capsize situation. However, I
> have also heard of rowers who had difficulty extracting feet in a
> capsize, and from many different designs of fitment.
>
> The 'cycle shoe' clips look pretty effective, but the ones I examined
> were very heavy.
>
> Ken Hastie
> Chairman, ARA North Regional Umpires Commission

Once again making the case for boat manufacturers to come up with a
really nice set of clogs. Heck, with clogs and enclosed underseat
compartments we may find a cure for cancer! [;o)

I got a chuckle each time the launch saftey officer reached right into
our boat at the World Masters Games, gave a little pull to the
heel-cups and then affirmed we were fine. Apparently just seeing that
THERE ARE NO SHOES is not quite enough. LOL

- Paul Smith



27 Sep 2005 11:54:42
Kieran
Re: Heel Restraints

Carl Douglas wrote:
> ken@hastie.org.uk writes
>
>> It is extremely difficult for Control Commission at a competition to
>> judge whether an oarsperson can remove their feet quickly and safely
>> from a boat, when their only real method of assessing this is when the
>> boat is presneted for checking (usually on dry land). Even where heel
>> restraints appear to be effective, the design of the shoe makes foot
>> exit difficult. My own crew had the use of a Fillippi boat from one of
>> the region's top universities,and I found the shoes just gripped my
>> entire foot too tightly by way of the shoe design (blue Adidas shoes
>> with three velcro straps across the bridge of the foot).
>>
>> As an Umpire, I encourage Control Commission to give a pretty forceful
>> tug on shoes, and if anything breaks, I feel you could be sure it would
>> have broken if deployed in a real life capsize situation. However, I
>> have also heard of rowers who had difficulty extracting feet in a
>> capsize, and from many different designs of fitment.
>>
>> The 'cycle shoe' clips look pretty effective, but the ones I examined
>> were very heavy.
>>
>> Ken Hastie
>> Chairman, ARA North Regional Umpires Commission
>>
>
> Ken -
>
> One serious problem with heel restraints is that they are frequently far
> too long. Once the heel has risen enough to cause significant curl of
> the shoe sole, the heel is pulled ever tighter onto the rower's foot,
> jamming the foot into the shoe. It then becomes very
> difficult/impossible to extract the foot even by a tug (it ought to come
> out very easily) and entrapment is a strong possibility.
>
> A dangerous & unsafe rule that I often hear being applied is that the
> shoe heel should not rise above horizontal. That is _far_ too high &
> causes just the problem I have described. Whoever suggested that this
> was appropriate had no understanding whatever of the mechanics of foot
> release. I don't know why whatever ARA guidance there might be (if any)
> on this matter does not outlaw such an arrangement.
>
> The only simple & safe rule is that:
> The heel should not be able to rise by more than 5cm from the surface of
> the stretcher. That will normally permit effortless extraction, even
> from tight-fitting shoes.
>
> Cheers -
> Carl

I think a big problem might be that rowers are fastening their shoes
much too tightly. In the old days, everyone rowed with fixed clogs,
where you COULDN'T tie the shoe very tightly at all. That seemed
satisfactory enough for everyone from novice to elite champion.
Honestly, I don't see the benefit of the current style of shoes (as
opposed to clogs.) They offer no more comfort to me, other than some
bit of warmth if it's cold out, and even that depends on the shoe
(Vespoli are often pretty thickly padded and warmer than say Adidas or
Puma) and can be fixed with thick wool socks.

Often times, I've been in boats with very old, worn out shoes that are
torn and tattered. The heel restraints were in place and short enough
(per Carl's suggestion) but the heel cup of the shoe was so messed up,
that it was difficult to pull my foot out DRY, USING MY HANDS! -- let
alone wet and trying to pull them out upside down. And this was with
the shoes entirely unlaced (they were a tight fit, so lacing was
superfluous.

Anyway, I think that if you row well/proper, the shoe serves very little
purpose other than what should be a slight bind at the release and early
recovery, and a tight fitting, laced/velcro'd shoe is not necessary
(even at sprint pace) and is somewhat of a risk.

I'm sure many will disagree, but to paraphrase Alistar... That's what I
think and that's the way it is. ;-)


-Kieran
Bring back the CLOGS!!!!


27 Sep 2005 19:13:00
Henry Law
Re: Heel Restraints

Kieran wrote:

> Bring back the CLOGS!!!!

Amen! Preach it brother!


27 Sep 2005 11:24:11
Mike Sullivan
Re: Heel Restraints


"Henry Law" <news@lawshouse.org > wrote in message
news:1127844781.11139.1@dyke.uk.clara.net...
> Kieran wrote:
>
>> Bring back the CLOGS!!!!
>
> Amen! Preach it brother!

I thought so since shoes first appeared. So I'm not the
only one???

glory





28 Sep 2005 06:29:28
Nick Suess
Re: Heel Restraints


"Mike Sullivan" <sul@SNIPslac.stanford.edu > wrote in message
news:dhc2oc$9na$1@news.Stanford.EDU...
>
> "Henry Law" <news@lawshouse.org> wrote in message
> news:1127844781.11139.1@dyke.uk.clara.net...
> > Kieran wrote:
> >
> >> Bring back the CLOGS!!!!
> >
> > Amen! Preach it brother!
>
> I thought so since shoes first appeared. So I'm not the
> only one???
>
> glory

A correspondent in the UK recently told me that clogs are actually BANNED by
the ARA.

Is this correct?




27 Sep 2005 16:42:13
bill
Re: Heel Restraints


Nick Suess wrote:
> "Mike Sullivan" <sul@SNIPslac.stanford.edu> wrote in message
> news:dhc2oc$9na$1@news.Stanford.EDU...
> >
> > "Henry Law" <news@lawshouse.org> wrote in message
> > news:1127844781.11139.1@dyke.uk.clara.net...
> > > Kieran wrote:
> > >
> > >> Bring back the CLOGS!!!!
> > >
> > > Amen! Preach it brother!
> >
> > I thought so since shoes first appeared. So I'm not the
> > only one???
> >
> > glory
>
> A correspondent in the UK recently told me that clogs are actually BANNED by
> the ARA.
>
> Is this correct?


"Flexible Clogs" from ergs are mentioned:

http://www.ara-rowing.org/news/news03/030617_wscclogs.php



28 Sep 2005 07:18:59
David Biddulph
Re: Heel Restraints

"Nick Suess" <nick@scull.com.au > wrote in message
news:4339c665$1@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
>
> "Mike Sullivan" <sul@SNIPslac.stanford.edu> wrote in message
> news:dhc2oc$9na$1@news.Stanford.EDU...
>>
>> "Henry Law" <news@lawshouse.org> wrote in message
>> news:1127844781.11139.1@dyke.uk.clara.net...
>> > Kieran wrote:
>> >
>> >> Bring back the CLOGS!!!!
>> >
>> > Amen! Preach it brother!

>> I thought so since shoes first appeared. So I'm not the
>> only one???
>>
>> glory

> A correspondent in the UK recently told me that clogs are actually BANNED
> by
> the ARA.
>
> Is this correct?

Certainly not!
--
David Biddulph
Rowing web pages at http://www.biddulph.org.uk/
and http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/david_biddulph/




28 Sep 2005 11:48:25
Nick Bailey
Re: Heel Restraints

We supply installation instructions with our H2Row shoes which
previously have been in line with the ARA's advice. I will be sure to
change our instructions to mention the 5cm lift-up, but if anyone's
found that this is not sufficient movement (for example, larger shoes)
please do let me know. The instructions become useless if a customer
finds that they do not allow sufficient movement - ie. for a foot-size
15 rower overreaching at the catch!

Although I agree that the NGB should set the safety standards many
manufacturers and suppliers do have lessons to learn in how to better
inform their customers of the correct way to both use their equipment,
maintain it to a satisfactory standard, and even design their equipment
beyond the industry safety minimums.

Another factor to remember is that the fittings in boats are usually not
manufactured by the boat maker. Schroeder, Martinolli & Neville's are
probably responsible for most of the foot attachment arrangements in the
UK and it is probably more helpful to identify the manufacturer of the
footstretcher and plate rather than the boat maker. The boat maker
always has the option to review their component sourcing and sensible
balanced feedback is the only way this would happen. It is also
difficult to make grand judgement calls about the current performance of
a manufacturer if you are rowing in a boat they made five years ago.

Nick



Carl Douglas wrote:
> ken@hastie.org.uk writes
>
>> It is extremely difficult for Control Commission at a competition to
>> judge whether an oarsperson can remove their feet quickly and safely
>> from a boat, when their only real method of assessing this is when the
>> boat is presneted for checking (usually on dry land). Even where heel
>> restraints appear to be effective, the design of the shoe makes foot
>> exit difficult. My own crew had the use of a Fillippi boat from one of
>> the region's top universities,and I found the shoes just gripped my
>> entire foot too tightly by way of the shoe design (blue Adidas shoes
>> with three velcro straps across the bridge of the foot).
>>
>> As an Umpire, I encourage Control Commission to give a pretty forceful
>> tug on shoes, and if anything breaks, I feel you could be sure it would
>> have broken if deployed in a real life capsize situation. However, I
>> have also heard of rowers who had difficulty extracting feet in a
>> capsize, and from many different designs of fitment.
>>
>> The 'cycle shoe' clips look pretty effective, but the ones I examined
>> were very heavy.
>>
>> Ken Hastie
>> Chairman, ARA North Regional Umpires Commission
>>
>
> Ken -
>
> One serious problem with heel restraints is that they are frequently far
> too long. Once the heel has risen enough to cause significant curl of
> the shoe sole, the heel is pulled ever tighter onto the rower's foot,
> jamming the foot into the shoe. It then becomes very
> difficult/impossible to extract the foot even by a tug (it ought to come
> out very easily) and entrapment is a strong possibility.
>
> A dangerous & unsafe rule that I often hear being applied is that the
> shoe heel should not rise above horizontal. That is _far_ too high &
> causes just the problem I have described. Whoever suggested that this
> was appropriate had no understanding whatever of the mechanics of foot
> release. I don't know why whatever ARA guidance there might be (if any)
> on this matter does not outlaw such an arrangement.
>
> The only simple & safe rule is that:
> The heel should not be able to rise by more than 5cm from the surface of
> the stretcher. That will normally permit effortless extraction, even
> from tight-fitting shoes.
>
> Cheers -
> Carl


28 Sep 2005 21:59:27
Christopher Anton
Re: Heel Restraints

"Carl Douglas" <Carl@carldouglas.co.uk > wrote in message
news:$vv97MDwi+NDFw6x@rowing-cdrs.demon.co.uk...
> ken@hastie.org.uk writes
>
> One serious problem with heel restraints is that they are frequently far
> too long. .
>
> A dangerous & unsafe rule that I often hear being applied is that the shoe
> heel should not rise above horizontal.

Carl I quite agree and I don't know

1. why people feel they need to raise their heels so far whilst rowing
normally
2. why the WSC allows the heel restraints to be this long




29 Sep 2005 18:12:48
Nick Suess
Re: Heel Restraints


"Nick Bailey" <nick@REMOVETHISBITrowdata.co.uk > wrote in message
news:1127904303.660519bb50ea48851210495be0aa7b7a@teranews...
> We supply installation instructions with our H2Row shoes which
> previously have been in line with the ARA's advice. I will be sure to
> change our instructions to mention the 5cm lift-up, but if anyone's
> found that this is not sufficient movement (for example, larger shoes)
> please do let me know. The instructions become useless if a customer
> finds that they do not allow sufficient movement - ie. for a foot-size
> 15 rower overreaching at the catch!

Carl is, as always, 100% right (annoying little bugger, ain't he!), although
I recall in our discussions on this late last year, 3cm was seen as
perfectly adequate heel lift for rowers of all builds and technique, and 5cm
was very the absolute maximum heel lift to adjust for. It's hard to get it
millimetre perfect, so specifying heel lift "under no circumstances great
than 5cm" means that all error should be on the shorter side, and these will
then be adjusted within that 3-5cm spread.

Because beyond 5cm lift, the heel restraints very quickly become altogether
ineffective, and the boat becomes a death trap. No other description
suffices. Sadly it seems there are still people in positions of
responsibility out there in rowing land who blithely refuse to listen to
this.

As for Nick Bailey's comments, I suggest the instructions should explain to
rowers that adjusting these too long to allow overreaching at the catch
could easily lead to underdrowning at the finish. Because that's the
essential message, and the time is long past for rowing authorities, clubs,
and schools to stop pissing about on this one.




29 Sep 2005 13:45:29
Stuart Jones
Re: Heel Restraints

Christopher Anton wrote:
> "Carl Douglas" <Carl@carldouglas.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:$vv97MDwi+NDFw6x@rowing-cdrs.demon.co.uk...
>> ken@hastie.org.uk writes
>>
>> One serious problem with heel restraints is that they are frequently far
>> too long. .
>>
>> A dangerous & unsafe rule that I often hear being applied is that the shoe
>> heel should not rise above horizontal.
>
> Carl I quite agree and I don't know
>
> 1. why people feel they need to raise their heels so far whilst rowing
> normally
> 2. why the WSC allows the heel restraints to be this long
>

From a practical point of view, it's hard enough to tie the heel
restraints to the level they were at (not rising above the horizontal),
due to sheer lack of space, general fiddlyness, and big hands.
Obviously the shorter you tie them, the fiddlier they become. Maybe we
need something better than just shoelaces?


29 Sep 2005 14:36:04
Carl Douglas
Re: Heel Restraints

Stuart Jones <user@domain.invalid > writes
>Christopher Anton wrote:
>> "Carl Douglas" <Carl@carldouglas.co.uk> wrote
>>> ken@hastie.org.uk writes
>>>
>>> One serious problem with heel restraints is that they are frequently
>>>far too long. .
>>>
>>> A dangerous & unsafe rule that I often hear being applied is that
>>>the shoe heel should not rise above horizontal.
>> Carl I quite agree and I don't know
>> 1. why people feel they need to raise their heels so far whilst
>>rowing normally
>> 2. why the WSC allows the heel restraints to be this long
>
>From a practical point of view, it's hard enough to tie the heel
>restraints to the level they were at (not rising above the horizontal),
>due to sheer lack of space, general fiddlyness, and big hands.
>Obviously the shorter you tie them, the fiddlier they become. Maybe we
>need something better than just shoelaces?

You raise a few points of general interest which reflect a harsh light
on how we deal with safety issues.

As you know only too well, your very survival might totally depend on
those heel ties doing their job. And, if it is a shared boat, so might
someone else's. So their setting & attachment are not to be taken
lightly.

1. Do _not_ try to set up heel ties with the shoes still in the boat.
It is sure to take longer that way than if you whip the stretcher out &
do it on a bench, & it is far less likely to get done properly
2. Typical shoe laces are utterly unsuited for this life-preserving
purpose. They are weak, they fray, they rot & people fiddle with them.

Do it like this:
1. We have standardised on a stout nylon braided cord, ~4mm diameter
(just over 1/8").
2. Pass this through the fitting on the shoe & then push _both_ ends
through an ~8mm diameter hole in a solid part of the heel of the
stretcher board.
3. Tie a simple thumb knot (1/2 hitch) in this double strand, adjusting
its position to give only the permitted 50mm/2" of heel lift, & then
draw it tight on itself. The resulting knot should be much larger than
the diameter of the hole in the stretcher.
4. Cut off the spare ends about 5mm /3/16" beyond the knot.
5. With a lighted match or other small flame, gently warm the cut ends
& that side of the knot so that they fuse slightly (no, do _not_ try to
melt the lot!) & will harden when they cool. That makes the knot
permanent.
6. Finally, smear some Sikaflex (polyurethane rubber mastic sealant)
around the base of the knot & then hold the shoe heel uplifted by means
of a small block of wood between it & the stretcher board, so that the
knot is drawn up against the underside of the stretcher board & the
mastic squeezes into the hole in the board.
7. Leave like that to cure overnight. It will then be permanent & will
not chafe on the board

If you do that it might take a couple of guys perhaps 40 minutes to do
an eight. That's nothing.

You can buy a hank of the nylon cord, enough to do every shoe in a
moderate-sized club, for a few Pounds/Euros/Dollars. That's nothing.

The job will outlast the life of the shoes. You will pass all safety
checks. And you might just save a life. And that's what matters.

Cheers -
Carl
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



01 Oct 2005 22:32:55
June Kendrick
Re: Heel Restraints

That sounds like a great way to do heel ties, but it also sounds like it
would be difficult to change the shoes.

June

Carl Douglas wrote:
> Stuart Jones <user@domain.invalid> writes
>
>> Christopher Anton wrote:
>>
>>> "Carl Douglas" <Carl@carldouglas.co.uk> wrote
>>>
>>>> ken@hastie.org.uk writes
>>>>
>>>> One serious problem with heel restraints is that they are frequently
>>>> far too long. .
>>>>
>>>> A dangerous & unsafe rule that I often hear being applied is that
>>>> the shoe heel should not rise above horizontal.
>>>
>>> Carl I quite agree and I don't know
>>> 1. why people feel they need to raise their heels so far whilst
>>> rowing normally
>>> 2. why the WSC allows the heel restraints to be this long
>>
>>
>> From a practical point of view, it's hard enough to tie the heel
>> restraints to the level they were at (not rising above the
>> horizontal), due to sheer lack of space, general fiddlyness, and big
>> hands. Obviously the shorter you tie them, the fiddlier they become.
>> Maybe we need something better than just shoelaces?
>
>
> You raise a few points of general interest which reflect a harsh light
> on how we deal with safety issues.
>
> As you know only too well, your very survival might totally depend on
> those heel ties doing their job. And, if it is a shared boat, so might
> someone else's. So their setting & attachment are not to be taken lightly.
>
> 1. Do _not_ try to set up heel ties with the shoes still in the boat.
> It is sure to take longer that way than if you whip the stretcher out &
> do it on a bench, & it is far less likely to get done properly
> 2. Typical shoe laces are utterly unsuited for this life-preserving
> purpose. They are weak, they fray, they rot & people fiddle with them.
>
> Do it like this:
> 1. We have standardised on a stout nylon braided cord, ~4mm diameter
> (just over 1/8").
> 2. Pass this through the fitting on the shoe & then push _both_ ends
> through an ~8mm diameter hole in a solid part of the heel of the
> stretcher board.
> 3. Tie a simple thumb knot (1/2 hitch) in this double strand, adjusting
> its position to give only the permitted 50mm/2" of heel lift, & then
> draw it tight on itself. The resulting knot should be much larger than
> the diameter of the hole in the stretcher.
> 4. Cut off the spare ends about 5mm /3/16" beyond the knot.
> 5. With a lighted match or other small flame, gently warm the cut ends
> & that side of the knot so that they fuse slightly (no, do _not_ try to
> melt the lot!) & will harden when they cool. That makes the knot
> permanent.
> 6. Finally, smear some Sikaflex (polyurethane rubber mastic sealant)
> around the base of the knot & then hold the shoe heel uplifted by means
> of a small block of wood between it & the stretcher board, so that the
> knot is drawn up against the underside of the stretcher board & the
> mastic squeezes into the hole in the board.
> 7. Leave like that to cure overnight. It will then be permanent & will
> not chafe on the board
>
> If you do that it might take a couple of guys perhaps 40 minutes to do
> an eight. That's nothing.
>
> You can buy a hank of the nylon cord, enough to do every shoe in a
> moderate-sized club, for a few Pounds/Euros/Dollars. That's nothing.
>
> The job will outlast the life of the shoes. You will pass all safety
> checks. And you might just save a life. And that's what matters.
>
> Cheers -
> Carl


02 Oct 2005 10:26:32
Carl Douglas
Re: Heel Restraints

June Kendrick <jkendric@optonline.net > writes
>That sounds like a great way to do heel ties, but it also sounds like
>it would be difficult to change the shoes.
>
>June
>

I really don't think so, June.

To remove a pair of shoes you have first to detach the shoe plate or
stretcher board, then undo 6 or 8 screws (possibly rusted into crappy
mild steel shoe inserts) & cut the heel ties

To replace a pair of shoes you have to screw back in 6 or 8 screws -
always assuming the screw holes on the new shoes do actually match those
for the originals. And then you have to fix new heel cords, per the
simple & safe method that I have already detailed & repeat below:
>
> 1. Do _not_ try to set up heel ties with the shoes still in the
>boat. It is sure to take longer that way than if you whip the
>stretcher out & do it on a bench, & it is far less likely to get done
>properly
> 2. Typical shoe laces are utterly unsuited for this life-preserving
>purpose. They are weak, they fray, they rot & people fiddle with them.
> Do it like this:
> 1. We have standardised on a stout nylon braided cord, ~4mm diameter
>(just over 1/8").
> 2. Pass this through the fitting on the shoe & then push _both_ ends
>through an ~8mm diameter hole in a solid part of the heel of the
>stretcher board.
> 3. Tie a simple thumb knot (1/2 hitch) in this double strand,
>adjusting its position to give only the permitted 50mm/2" of heel lift,
>& then draw it tight on itself. The resulting knot should be much
>larger than the diameter of the hole in the stretcher.
> 4. Cut off the spare ends about 5mm /3/16" beyond the knot.
> 5. With a lighted match or other small flame, gently warm the cut
>ends & that side of the knot so that they fuse slightly (no, do _not_
>try to melt the lot!) & will harden when they cool. That makes the
>knot permanent.
> 6. Finally, smear some Sikaflex (polyurethane rubber mastic sealant)
>around the base of the knot & then hold the shoe heel uplifted by means
>of a small block of wood between it & the stretcher board, so that the
>knot is drawn up against the underside of the stretcher board & the
>mastic squeezes into the hole in the board.
> 7. Leave like that to cure overnight. It will then be permanent &
>will not chafe on the board
>
Although we are all busy people, I would say that the safety element
(above) of the shoe change-over amounts to no more that 10% of the total
job time. Skimp on that, however, & someone could find themselves a
very long time dead. And the person who did the skimping could have a
lifetime problem with their conscience.

HTH
Carl
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



03 Oct 2005 10:50:46
Alistair Browne
Re: Heel Restraints

Carl Douglas said the following on 02/10/2005 10:26:
> June Kendrick <jkendric@optonline.net> writes
>
>> That sounds like a great way to do heel ties, but it also sounds like
>> it would be difficult to change the shoes.
>>
>> June
>>
>
> I really don't think so, June.
>
> To remove a pair of shoes you have first to detach the shoe plate or
> stretcher board, then undo 6 or 8 screws (possibly rusted into crappy
> mild steel shoe inserts) & cut the heel ties
>
I understood this as a reference to the ability to swap shoes from one
stretcher/boat to another, which is almost always a more difficult task
than it needs to be, IMHO.

Alistair


03 Oct 2005 06:09:26
J Flory
Re: Heel Restraints

Alistair Browne wrote:
> Carl Douglas said the following on 02/10/2005 10:26:
> > June Kendrick <jkendric@optonline.net> writes
> >
> >> That sounds like a great way to do heel ties, but it also sounds like
> >> it would be difficult to change the shoes.
> >>
> >> June
> >>
> >
> > I really don't think so, June.
> >
> > To remove a pair of shoes you have first to detach the shoe plate or
> > stretcher board, then undo 6 or 8 screws (possibly rusted into crappy
> > mild steel shoe inserts) & cut the heel ties
> >
> I understood this as a reference to the ability to swap shoes from one
> stretcher/boat to another, which is almost always a more difficult task
> than it needs to be, IMHO.
>
> Alistair

Agreed, I swapped shoes 3 or 4 times last week. I train often with a
person with tiny size 5 feet, but sometimes with people with more
conventional feet.

On many boats (e.g., Filippi, Empacher, Fluidesign) the shoes are
screwed to a metal or carbon fiber plate which in turn is bolted to the
footstretcher. If you get extra plates so you can leave the shoes
attached to the plate, so swapping shoe/plate assemblies involves only
2-3 bolts. My footstretchers use just 2 bolts, thankfully.

I'm trying to figure out a way to attach heel restraints that is as
reliable & tidy as the one Carl described, but allows quicker shoe
changes. I thought of attaching restraints to the footstretcher with
clips on the ends to clip to the rings on the shoes' heels. But
smaller shoes usually mean shorter person, shorter legs, higher heels,
hence longer heel restraints. Maybe permanently attach fixed-length
heel restraints to the shoes with small stainless clips on their ends
which would fasten to or around some part of the bottom of the
footstretcher? Hmmm...



03 Oct 2005 14:12:45
Neil Wallace
Re: Heel Restraints

Alistair Browne wrote:
> Carl Douglas said the following on 02/10/2005 10:26:
>> To remove a pair of shoes you have first to detach the shoe plate or
>> stretcher board, then undo 6 or 8 screws (possibly rusted into crappy
>> mild steel shoe inserts) & cut the heel ties
>>
> I understood this as a reference to the ability to swap shoes from one
> stretcher/boat to another, which is almost always a more difficult
> task than it needs to be, IMHO.
>
> Alistair

is anyone using
http://www.krewklips.co.uk/

I know Carl tested them out (google this group).
But is anyone using them?

I ask because my shimano cycling shoes are VERY comfy......




03 Oct 2005 06:38:43
donal.casey@gmail.com
Re: Heel Restraints

"The other important point for competitors to remember is that problems

getting feet out are often caused by the shoes being laced up more
tightly
than is necessary. "

I personally wonder why people bother lacing shoes up at all....

Donal



03 Oct 2005 06:43:01
Rob Collings
Re: Heel Restraints

Neil Wallace wrote:
> is anyone using
> http://www.krewklips.co.uk/
>
> I know Carl tested them out (google this group).
> But is anyone using them?
>
> I ask because my shimano cycling shoes are VERY comfy......

I'm still sceptical. I have seen enough crashes or falls where SPDs
have not been released due to incorrect spring tension to worry that
they may not release when upside down. Even with my Time ATACs (no
adjustment) I have had the odd time when I've gone flying with my bike
getting pulled along behind. I can easily set up my current SPD-SLs so
that I can't release my feet when stopping at lights (much to the
amusement of the car behind).

I don't see them being as comfy as you have such a small contact area
to push on. And I can't see how you can possibly steer with a shoe that
twists to release! I go wonky enough without accidentally releasing my
foot mid-outing. Or do you tighten the springs so that a normal twist
doesn't generate nearly enough tension and then have to really slam the
thing over to get your foot out? No mention of this on their website
that I can see. Maybe not intended for steerspeople?

If there are answers to the above then I'm very interested. Even better
if Neil bought a set that I could try out ;-)

Rob.



03 Oct 2005 17:06:15
Neil Wallace
Re: Heel Restraints

Rob Collings wrote:
(snip)
> If there are answers to the above then I'm very interested. Even
> better if Neil bought a set that I could try out ;-)

sadly, that probably ain't gonna happen

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.
Delivery to the following recipients failed.
sales@krewklips.co.uk
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>




04 Oct 2005 20:52:07
Lawrence Edwards
Re: Heel Restraints


"Rob Collings" <robin.collings@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1127744391.986292.247330@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> We should be about to bring in a club safety policy (it'll be the first
> time I think we've had one) that will require all our heel restraints
> to be kept pretty short. Can't remember how short, but 5cm rings a bell
> and it is certainly much shorter than the SARA requirement. Reference
> is made to that requirement and it's inadequacy - something along the
> lines of chocolate teapots. I'm sure some people will take it on board,

Hi Rob

Despite what you may think from our off-line correspondence, I'm very glad
that our club has a safety policy following the AGM. Prior to that we did in
effect have the SARA Water Safety Code, which is not ideal, but is much much
better than nothing.

I don't think the SARA Water Safety Code specifies an ideal length for heel
restraints, just that they should be properly adjusted and effective?

I agree that 5cm is about right. Following the discussion on RSR in recent
weeks I have been very careful to make sure that all the crews I cox check
their heel restraints properly before every outing. They need to be given a
good strong tug - I did this on Monday on one set of shoes and both
restraints snapped! Old leather is clearly not very strong and would not
withstand the force applied by a panicking rower.

For me, and not just because I am a cox, the importance of having an
experienced cox in a coxed boat cannot be undervalued. A good cox is trusted
by their crew, so if they say it's importnat to check the heel restraints
the crew tend to listen. If people read it in a document (which most won't
bother to anyway) it doesn't have nearly the same effect.

Writing things down is important, but so is leading by example.

Lawrence




04 Oct 2005 16:27:03
Taniwha
Re: Heel Restraints


donal.casey@gmail.com wrote:
> "The other important point for competitors to remember is that problems
>
> getting feet out are often caused by the shoes being laced up more
> tightly
> than is necessary. "
>
> I personally wonder why people bother lacing shoes up at all....
>
> Donal

Small feet in big shoes. I tell people not to tie them further towards
the ankle than about the ball of the foot. The shoe is therefore like a
clog with adjustable length.

Taniwha.



05 Oct 2005 01:33:52
Rob Collings
Re: Heel Restraints

Lawrence Edwards wrote:
> I don't think the SARA Water Safety Code specifies an ideal length for heel
> restraints, just that they should be properly adjusted and effective?

It doesn't and neither do our rules of racing. But ask any umpire and
the rule that is enforced is that same as the ARA Rule of Racing. So
the accepted standard is just as poor as the ARA's required one.

Rob.



08 Oct 2005 10:46:05
June Kendrick
Re: Heel Restraints

I was thinking more of swapping the shoes when still on the plate before
an outing, which happens fairly often in our club (limited number of
boats, shared amongst juniors and masters of both genders, with feet
ranging from womens size 5 to mens size 14). Using the polyurethane
would leave a sticky mess on the footboard to deal with for the outing,
and then it would have to be undone two or three days later.

June

Carl Douglas wrote:
> June Kendrick <jkendric@optonline.net> writes
>
>> That sounds like a great way to do heel ties, but it also sounds like
>> it would be difficult to change the shoes.
>>
>> June
>>
>
> I really don't think so, June.
>
> To remove a pair of shoes you have first to detach the shoe plate or
> stretcher board, then undo 6 or 8 screws (possibly rusted into crappy
> mild steel shoe inserts) & cut the heel ties
>
> To replace a pair of shoes you have to screw back in 6 or 8 screws -
> always assuming the screw holes on the new shoes do actually match those
> for the originals. And then you have to fix new heel cords, per the
> simple & safe method that I have already detailed & repeat below:
> >
>
>> 1. Do _not_ try to set up heel ties with the shoes still in the
>> boat. It is sure to take longer that way than if you whip the
>> stretcher out & do it on a bench, & it is far less likely to get done
>> properly
>> 2. Typical shoe laces are utterly unsuited for this life-preserving
>> purpose. They are weak, they fray, they rot & people fiddle with them.
>> Do it like this:
>> 1. We have standardised on a stout nylon braided cord, ~4mm diameter
>> (just over 1/8").
>> 2. Pass this through the fitting on the shoe & then push _both_ ends
>> through an ~8mm diameter hole in a solid part of the heel of the
>> stretcher board.
>> 3. Tie a simple thumb knot (1/2 hitch) in this double strand,
>> adjusting its position to give only the permitted 50mm/2" of heel
>> lift, & then draw it tight on itself. The resulting knot should be
>> much larger than the diameter of the hole in the stretcher.
>> 4. Cut off the spare ends about 5mm /3/16" beyond the knot.
>> 5. With a lighted match or other small flame, gently warm the cut
>> ends & that side of the knot so that they fuse slightly (no, do _not_
>> try to melt the lot!) & will harden when they cool. That makes the
>> knot permanent.
>> 6. Finally, smear some Sikaflex (polyurethane rubber mastic sealant)
>> around the base of the knot & then hold the shoe heel uplifted by
>> means of a small block of wood between it & the stretcher board, so
>> that the knot is drawn up against the underside of the stretcher board
>> & the mastic squeezes into the hole in the board.
>> 7. Leave like that to cure overnight. It will then be permanent &
>> will not chafe on the board
>
> >
> Although we are all busy people, I would say that the safety element
> (above) of the shoe change-over amounts to no more that 10% of the total
> job time. Skimp on that, however, & someone could find themselves a
> very long time dead. And the person who did the skimping could have a
> lifetime problem with their conscience.
>
> HTH
> Carl