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Beginning of the Season Frequently-Asked Coxswain Questions
Well, maybe not frequently, but they have come up.
posted on March 28, 2007



How do I keep my rowers from looking out of the boat and affecting the set? I keep calling them out, but they still do it.
Tell your boat what I tell mine: Every time someone looks out, I get to eat one of Ms. Quail's chocolate nut brownies. I figure I win either way.

As coxswain, am I empowered to perform weddings?

Technically, yes. (Be careful how you use this authority, though.) Per U.S. Coast Guard regulations, anything 60 feet or longer is legally a ship, and ship captains can perform marriages. (Shorter-hulled Resolutes, and 4+s may need to go out beyond the twelve-mile limit.)

Does it matter which set of oars we take?

It does if they're the 2V's, and they punch your heads in.

What's the thingy with the strings called that turns the rudder?

"Rudder capstan," (though "tiller" is often used too). Technically, a tiller is a single bar which comes forward from the rudder (so named for its visual resemblence to a horse-drawn plow). A capstan has horizontal opposed bars, and the capstan itself (Anglo-Saxon "cap stone") is the cental pivot. A windlass is similar, only sideways. The space the tiller or rudder capstan moves through is called the rudder flat.

One of my rower's Nalgene bottle slid up into the bow of our Resolute and got stuck there; do you have any advice on how to extricate it?

Rattles around a bit up there doesn't it? Have your stern four hold the shell at waists while your bow four holds the bow over their heads pointed upwards. Shake vigorously. (Season to taste.) Eventually the Nalgene bottle will work its way loose, fall out, and hit your bowman on the head.

My parents want to know howcome -- if a crew race only takes about 6 minutes -- going to a crew race always takes up an entire day.

Erm, well..., we've got our best research team working on that.

Does making "vroom vroom" noises over the mic really make the boat go faster?


No.



row2k author
Rob Colburn
Rob Colburn coxed for St. Andrew's School and for Columbia University, and currently coxes for the masters rowing program at Carnegie Lake Rowing Association. He is still 3 lbs. under his college coxing weight.
Send Rob Email! Also, check out his new novel The Sultan's Helmsman

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