VHF on the Upper Thames

Blackfeather

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I was somewhat embarrassed during Henley Regatta to be told by the EA boat that we needed to radio on channel x to get permission to use the centre arch on Henley Bridge.

I understood that VHF was useless on this stretch of the river and didn't replace the broken VHF aerial when we moved up from Poole.

Have now dug out the old hand-held. Is this required during the festival for any operations?
 

mlines

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No its not required in the festival.

I am not really convinced it is required during the Regatta either. They hang a sign from the bridge telling you to radio call to pass through the centre arch but as most Thames boats do not have radio and radio is not mandatory on boats even when at sea I would suggest they are expressing a desire rather than a hard rule.
 

byron

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For as long as I can remember there's been radio control on Henley Bridge during Regatta.
 

Chris_d

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Are you sure this isn't just a commercial user requirement during regatta, were you operating as a charter at the time?
Certainly never heard of it before though, only clubs occasionally use radio for rally's there is no legal requirement anywhere on the non tidal mine stays hidden in a locker until we hit the tideway.
 

rosssavage

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Black feather is right - VHF control for all boats wishing to transit the centre arch. Not sure under what authority, but you're mad if you don't. Regatta week is utter chaos, and you do NOT want to cone face to face with the hibernia coming the other way through the arch!!
 

Chris_d

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Ok must have missed the radio sign over the years! however don't think I have ever tried to use the centre arch during regatta due to the big sign saying "Do not use centre arch" ;)
 

rosssavage

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The sign is posted on the end of the regatta course temporary structure heading upstream, and in an anchored work boat heading downstream, call sign Angel Guard, channel 74 (iirc). However, it is only operational on certain days at certain times.

Due to my air draft, I have no option but to use the centre arch.
 

Gavi

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1 Jun 2006
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The sign is posted on the end of the regatta course temporary structure heading upstream, and in an anchored work boat heading downstream, call sign Angel Guard, channel 74 (iirc). However, it is only operational on certain days at certain times.

Due to my air draft, I have no option but to use the centre arch.

This year there was a clear sign above the arch on both sides saying "contact angel guard on VHF xx". Since we've been going there (only 5 years) it has been controlled by the EA, normally John from Penton Hook Lock. Always get a cheery wave.

In terms of general use, VHF is handy for pageants and parades, as done by the Magna Carta weekend controllers recently to pass instructions to all boats. And also for checking if another boat has colder wine than you. Apparently....
 

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