Organisers of the FISA Tour 2003

The 2003 FISA Tour
River Thames - Oxford to London

30th August - 7th September 2003

FISA Tour Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 4th May 2003

Here you will find the answers to all your questions regarding the Tour. If you need any other information, email us and we will put the answers here for everyone to see.

Q. Will I be able to row part of the distance in a single scull?

A. The whole object of this tour is for the participants to make lots of new friends and row with people from other countries. We are only using coxed quad touring boats on the tour, and will draw up crew lists so that everyone rows with different people each day. We will try to make sure that each crew has a mixture of nationalities, ages, and men and women. We don't ask how much rowing experience everyone has, so you might have a crew containing former world champions and people who only learned to row recently. It's all part of the fun! Remember, it's not a competition, so don't go whizzing off into the distance - you will only have to wait for the other boats to catch up!

Q I would like to try punting - will that be possible?

A We have some friends at Wraysbury Skiff and Punting Club near Staines. It may be possible to go punting intead of sightseeing in Windsor - we will find out and put the answer here.

Q. I am on the waiting list - what are my chances of getting a place on the tour?

A. We are still waiting for some payments to arrive. We should know by mid May if there are any spare places.

Q. When will I know if my application has been successful?

A. We will write to everyone during the first week of April. Unfortunately we do not have enough places on the tour for everyone who applied, so some people will go onto a waiting list in case any places become vacant later on.

Q. When do I have to pay for the tour?

A. Payment of the full £595 is due by 2nd May. When we write, we will give you our bank account details. Payment is by bank transfer, with all the charges paid by you.

Q. What is included in the price?

A. We supply accommodation, all meals, boats, transport from the accommodation to the boats each morning and back each evening, and entertainments as listed in the itinerary. You will need to pay for transport from your home to Oxford and from London to your home after the tour. We do not pay for drinks, other than water or soft drinks while rowing, personal and medical insurance and hire of lifejackets.

Q. How many people will be on the tour?

A. We originally planned for 80 people. However we have had so many applications, that we have now extended this to 100 people.

Q. What kind of boats will we be using?

A. We will have 20 touring or lake boats, mostly rigged as coxed quad sculls (with 2 oars per person) but possibly a few will be rigged for sweep-oar rowing (with one oar).

Q. Will I be able to row with my friends?

A. We hope that by the end of the tour, everyone will be friends! We will draw up crew lists to ensure that you row with as many different people as possible. Each of the 20 boats will have a Captain (chosen from people who have a lot of touring experience) who stays with that boat for the whole week. The rest of the crew changes each day. Crew members take it in turns to cox (we recommend that you change round every 45 minutes or so).

Q. How do I get to Oxford?

A. Oxford Bus have a service from Heathrow and Gatwick airports to Oxford. The journey time from Heathrow is 1 hour 10 minutes and costs £13. From Gatwick it takes 2 hours and costs £20

Oxford Bus and Stagecoach run bus services from central London to Oxford. The journey takes about 1 hour 30 minutes and costs £9.

There is a frequent train service from London's Paddington station to Oxford. The journey time is about one hour, and the cost about £16. See The Train Line website for details.

Please do not try to come to Oxford by car - it is almost impossible to find a parking space!

Q. Where do we meet and at what time?

A. We meet at Wadham College, Oxford, any time between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday 30th August. Please let us know if you expect to arrive after 5 p.m. so we can make other arrangements. Wadham College is about 10 minutes walk or a short taxi ride from Oxford station.

Q. Where can I stay if I want to spend some time in England before or after the tour?

A. Hotels in Oxford and London are very expensive. We recommend that you try the Youth Hostel next to Oxford station, or Holland House (also a Youth Hostel) in London.

Q. What will the weather be like? What clothes should I bring?

A. Early September is normally warm (but not too hot) and dry, ideal for rowing in fact. However England would not be England without a little rain from time to time, so you should bring a waterproof jacket or top. You will probably need a light sweater in the evenings. You will also need smart clothes for some of the dinners (jacket and tie for men, dress for the ladies).

Q. Where can I get tourist information?

A. We will give you some information when you arrive, but in the meantime look at Visit Britain