Cold Weather Rules
December 1 – January 31: Sandy Run Park is closed; no rowing.
February 1 – March 31: Members may take out 2x, 4x or 4- shells only. NO CLUB SINGLES may be taken out during this period, even in unseasonably warm weather conditions.
NVRPA Cold Weather Restrictions: When the air temperature is below 40˚F or the water temperature is below 50˚F, you may not go out unless accompanied by a launch that remains within 35 meters of your shell, with no more than 2 shells per launch. Because OBC does not own launches, you are responsible for making private arrangements.
April 1 – November 30: When the air temperature is below 40˚F or the water temperature is below 50˚F, prompting “NVRPA Cold Weather Restrictions” above, rowers in all OBC shells (1x, 2x, 4x, or 4-) must row together in groups of two or more boats. Alternatively, you may go out accompanied by a launch that remains within 35 meters of your shell.
Lightning and Storm Rules
At the first sound of thunder, you must return to Sandy Run docks. If the storm is upon you, take your shell ashore and wait for the storm to pass.
If the lightning detector goes off (one long blast), you may not row until the “all clear” is given (3 five-second blasts). If you are on the water, return as quickly as possible to Sandy Run docks. See the Sandy Run Park rules for complete information on the Lightning Prediction System and procedures.
High Wind Recommendations
The Occoquan Reservoir is relatively sheltered, but it is not uncommon for high winds to sweep the waters. Rowers should know their limitations when dealing with windy conditions and make an informed judgment call on whether to row.
Avoid straightaways (the race course, the straight between Ryan’s Dam and Fountainhead) in windy conditions. The longer the straight, the higher the waves.
If wind conditions are marginal, consider rowing in more protected areas such as the cove (Sandy Run itself) or in the lee of the shore close to Sandy Run.
Please read more detailed information in On-the-Water Safety: Know Before You Row.
Sandy Run Park has a colored flag system to warn rowers of high winds. The flags are changed only at the park ranger’s discretion. The flag you see may not be current on the day or at the time you row. See the NVRPA website for a full description of these flags.