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!