The approved text that will be published in the magazine February issue.
Right to Reply: Magik Rowing MK1 Gates
Following a news report appearing in the November issue of Rowing Regatta which concerned a statement released by the ARAs Water Safety Committee after an incident which occurred at the World Championships, Magik Rowing wish to issue the following statement:
The MK1 gates may have been recently perceived as lacking safety following various publications related to a rescue operation at the 2006 World Championships. Magik Rowing wishes to reassure the rowing community that one of the main objectives in the design of the MK1 gates is improved security on water. Our gates are safe and easy to open providing one knows how to.
We have made a huge communication effort, including:
- Flyers and user manuals are available in several languages on paper, by email and via our websites.
- www.magikrowing.com contains a 3D video showing the operation of the sliding system as well as user manuals in six languages.
- Free demonstration samples (currently at Wallingford, Thames, Broxbourne, Mortlake Anglian Alpha, Cambois, Nottingham and Strathclyde Park RCs)
- Demonstrations at the Lola Aylings British Coaching Conference 2006, Dorney World Cup 2005 and World Rowing Championships 2006.
During the last World Championships, 48 crews from 20 countries rowed and sculled using the MK1 gates. The safety teams involved in the rescue incident, in the urgency of the capsize situation, chose to remove the collar from the oar as they could not release the gate locking mechanism. The athletes concerned could not get out of the boat because they had undone their heel restraints and their feet were stuck in the shoes and the oars were stuck across their thighs.
The information about MK1 was sent to most UK clubs by email newsletter via our agent, Rowperfect UK. If your club did not receive this information, please add your contact details to our emailing list by going to the website and sending us your contact information www.rowperfect.co.uk. If you want to receive demonstration gates to try out, please mention this when you write.
Our gates are now widely used and therefore should be a part of the list of equipment that safety teams get trained on. Magik Rowing feels responsible for the security of its product but cannot be held responsible for a lack of training. We have contacted the ARA to offer our help in organising further training. Your ARA divisional representative can provide further information.
The ARA has a duty of care towards its members in informing them of potential risks and as such the item in Rowing Regatta outlined the incident, the problems encountered and particularly encouraged coaches and safety crews to familiarise themselves with the operation of this product.
Stuart Ward, ARA Honorary Water Safety Adviser