row2k Features
Faces in the Crowd: The People Behind the Erg
March 10, 2020
Ed Hewitt, row2k.com

click for the next photo
Shh, I remember now - Ed. His name is Ed.

Shh, I remember now - Ed. His name is Ed. - Click for full-size image!
Wait a minute... if I'm coxing, who is on my erg? - Click for full-size image!
Hold it here for now, then let your hair down in the 3rd 500 - Click for full-size image!
I think I got the family record too - Click for full-size image!
Did you say you're tired? La la la la la la la I'm not listening - Click for full-size image!
Coxswains are my kryptonite - Click for full-size image!
Where is the detonate button, I have to make good on this tshirt slogan... - Click for full-size image!
Dude, this piece has to be good, you already bought the shirt - Click for full-size image!
Coxswain Convention - Click for full-size image!
It takes a village. - Click for full-size image!


Click on the thumbs to see the photo and caption, or advance through the series by clicking directly on the full-size photo.

Rowing the erg seems a brutally solitary endeavor; it's you against the machine and the clock, and although it's not quite a Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner experience, it takes you to some lonesome places, no question.

But in the process of attending erg races all winter, we find them actually to be an unexpectedly communal and team effort, with coxswains and coaches yelling, entire squads circling around folks, and a type of teamwork that arguably does not happen on the water. It offers an often inspiring and, well, interesting sense of community.

After the CRASH-B photos posted, a row2k reader wrote to say "Really like your Crash-B photos. I liked the faces/expressions of the 'coaches' more than the rowers themselves!"

I replied that I had included all the coxswains on purpose, as the erg can really be a team effort - albeit a conflicted one. Among the many folks pushing harder thanks to the encouragement, I heard at least two requests for silence (not to mention a ton of earphones even while someone was shouting encouragement), and at least one "SHUT UP!" (in the menehune event, no less).

"Honestly, it kept me scrolling through more of the photos to see the 'coaches' faces," the reader continued.

Here we go back through a few of our favorites from CRASH-B (though to be honest there are lots of examples from regattas of all sizes; for example, the 63-entry Swan Creek ErgFest has some of the best coxing faces of the winter.

We added (sometimes impertinent) captions for your enjoyment just to keep things fun; enjoy!

During these unprecendented times, row2k is working hard to keep rowing coming to you; please help us keeping it coming by supporting our work!


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