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Basic Rowing Commands

Sculling Coxswain's


  1. To keep everyone safe.

  2. To protect the boats (especially wooden boats).

  3. To be aware of ferries (know schedule), tides, changing weather, wake, other boats, buoys etc.

  4. To be aware of and listen to launch driver.

  5. To stay within range of other club boats.

  6. To coordinate with launch driver and other coxswain in making decisions re weather, fog, where to go, etc.

  7. To determine boat lineup

  8. To check over boats, set rudder, and close all hatches before launching.

  9. To give commands re the following: getting the boat off the rack, launching from beach, rowing safely, landing at the beach, and returning boats to boathouse.

  10. To judge stroke rate, when and if to do powers (may ask crew if interested) in order to best move the boat efficiently and smoothly.

  11. To give general comments to entire boat to help overall efficiency (i.e. stay with stroke, slow up the slide, let’s all think about……) but not to coach or critique unless asked. (If all is going well, a silent row is great.)


Getting the boat out: Hands on, up an inch (for the lower boats) Ready Up. Up to shoulders Ready Up. Walk it out Way ‘nuff (at the slings) Down to waist, turn into slings

Putting boat in water and launching: Hands on, Ready up. And down (into water) Shore side people get the oars (should be middle seats in a quad. Others hold the boat. Oars out. Two and Three get in (in quad) Stroke in and cox (slightly pushing off with foot) Starboard or even or cox turns boat depending on location and conditions. In two, way ‘nuff. This is one, this is two, way ‘nuff. Tie in Count down when ready starting from stern. (Cox uses oars to direct boat in right direction for row)

On the water: At the release or at the catch, arms and back only, ready row. In two, we’ll go to half slide. This is one, this is two, half slide. In two, we’ll go to full slide. One, Two, full slide. In two, we’ll do a power 10, etc. One, Two, Power 10 (20, etc.) Steady state or 80% etc. (in between or after powers). Heavy on port or starboard Even row At the release or catch, 3 halves and full slide, ready row. Hold water (if have to stop immediately)

Returning to shore: Easy row or On the paddle (as you come in). In two, way ‘nuff.. This is one, this is two, way ‘nuff. Untie. Port rudder. Everyone out.

Getting boat out and on slings: Hands on, ready up. Turn to water or shore Walk it out and roll into slings


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