row2k Features
What REALLY happens at Coxwain meetings -- the Secret Tapes
August 15, 2000
Rob Colburn

Row2k's fearless investigative reporters have obtained secret recordings from a coxswains' meeting which took place prior to the CENSORED CENSORED regatta. Here is a selectively edited transcript of what your steerspeople are REALLY doing while you rig the boats. You've suspected for you KNOW.


-- Hey, pass those donuts over here. I haven't eaten since Wednesday. (Sound of ripping cardboard.)

(OFFICIAL) -- Ladies and Gentlemen, if we could just get serious for a moment--

-- Lane assignments? (sound of deck of cards being shuffled) One-eyed jacks and aces get first choice of heats; two of a kind gets to draw another card, and the eight of clubs is wild...highest hand gets lane Three.

-- Anyone got a map of the course?

-- You're looking at it. (inaudible) No, other way. The dots are buoys, and the red circle is where SportGraphics will shooting photos from.

--- You want set--

-- Yeah, you want to have the boat really set by that point…

-- Whothehell is planning to eat twelve boxes of Pop Tarts?

(sound of a popcorn popper cranking up in the background)

-- How much butter did you put in that thing?

-- Why? You watching your weight or something?

-- Hey, get those (expletive deleted) sandbags away from me. Didn'tcha read the report?

-- What report?

-- The one which claimed that ten pounds adds only two-tenths of a second over two thousand meters.

(murmurs of "hear, hear" and other sounds of general approval)

-- Yeah, the Snakewake Union sure spent our dues well on that one.

-- Somebody's coming. Quick, hide that food!

(secret coxswains' knock at the door) Oh, alright, one of us.

-- You're a cox? I thought you were the bowman for the lightweights.

(OFFICIAL) -- ...blowing slight crosswind today, let's try not to delay the starts too long…

(soto voce in background) -- Screw the weather; what's the NASDAQ doing?

(OFFICIAL) -- ...except for lane four, which is 100 meters longer.

-- (apparently referring to some earlier part of the conversation) well as totally messed up our heat.

(OFFICIAL) -- Dockmasters will be checking heel ties. Three inches, coxswains, and not an inch more. And if you so much as attempt to launch before your event has been called, we will auction your boat on the spot; proceeds to benefit the Dockmaster Caribbean Exploration Fund.

-- …my lucky water bottle, my lucky sunglasses, my lucky CoxBox, my lucky hat, my lucky shirt, my lucky sox, my lucky--

(Loud bang as the popcorn popper explodes)

-- Now look what you've done.

(OFFICIAL) -- No pagers or cell phones in the boats, please.

-- (Muffled, in the background) Deal me in next hand?

-- Sure. I'll see your Empacher; and raise you one.

-- Careful, he's been known to empty entire boathouses on a pair of aces.

(in the background, we hear a coxswain repeating what sounds like "push cha" over and over, until we realize it's really "PIZZA!" which has -- providentially -- just been delivered.)

-- Who's got the onions and anchovies?

-- Yo! Over here!

-- Your Stroke is going to love sitting in front of you!

(unexplained eighteen and a half minute gap in tape here)

-- That's definitely my water bottle; I recognize the teeth marks.

-- Naw, there's plenty of room to spin a boat there. Trust me.

(OFFICIAL) -- ...cannot fit more than three boats through the bridge at one time, no matter what some of you might think.

-- (Sputtering through a mouthful of pop tart) Rules? There are rules in crew?

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