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What Is The Definition Of Coxswain In Rowing?

1. A coxswain is the person in the boat who is responsible for steering the boat down the race course.

The coxswain also acts as the coach on the water by providing encouragement and motivation to the other rowers in the boat and by making tactical calls throughout the race. The coxswain does not row an oar themselves.

How Does A Coxswain Steer The Boat?

A coxswain can steer the boat manually by moving a cable that is attached to the rudder. A coxswain can also steer by telling one side of the boat to row with more pressure than the other side of the boat.

What Kind Of Tactical Calls Does A Coxswain Make?

Some examples of calls a coxswain may make include having the rowers increase or decrease stroke rate, taking extra powerful strokes to gain water on another boat, or cueing individual rowers to fall back into synchronicity with the rest of the boat.

How Does A Coxswain Know What Tactical Calls To Make?

The coxswain uses visual cues around them, including other boats, to make calls. The coxswain also sits with a cox box in the boat. The electronic cox box gives the coxswain feedback on the boat’s performance, including time, distance covered, boat speed, and stroke rate, that helps guide the calls a coxswain will make.

Where In The Boat Does A Coxswain Sit?

A coxswain’s position in the boat depends on the type of boat being used. In an eight, the coxswain typically sits in the stern of the boat facing all of the rowers. In a four, the coxswain may sit in the stern or bow depending on the boat. Coxswains are only used in sweeping boats.

How Tall Is The Average Coxswain?

A coxswain is typically shorter and lighter than the other rowers in a boat. For example, on the 2012 USA Women’s Olympic eight boat team, the coxswain Mary Whipple was 5’ 3” while the average size of her teammates was around 6’.

Why Are Coxswains Typically Smaller Than The Other Rowers In The Boat?

Coxswains are typically smaller in height and weight because they are adding “dead weight” into the boat, and the less “dead weight” added the better.

By “dead weight,” what is meant is that because the coxswain doesn’t row an oar themselves, all the other rowers have to take on the responsibility of moving the coxswain’s weight down the race course. The less weight added to the boat, the easier this will be.

Example Of How Coxswain Is Used In Commentary

1. Caleb Shepard helped his boat win the silver medal as the coxswain of New Zealand’s Women’s eight in Tokyo. By doing so, he also became the first male to win a female Olympic Games medal.

Sport The Term Is Used

1. Rowing

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