Especially if you’re coxing on a crowded river, it’s likely that at some point during an outing you’ll have to come past another crew. Today I’d like to talk briefly about how to go about doing this. These scenarios all assume that you’re uncoached: if you do have a coach, don’t be afraid to use them, asking them to check around corners or to confirm that it is clear. I’ll talk more about interacting with coaches in a later post. Anyway, here’s my five-point guide to making a quick, effective and (above all) safe overtake.
As coxes, we’re often told that in a race situation, it’s not just what we say but also how we say it. To that oft-quoted dictum, I’d like to add the smallest of asterisks: it’s also very important to think about when we say it. What do I mean by this? Well, I’m not referring to the more general art of ‘making the right call at the right time’, knowing exactly when to call a push on the finishes to move through another crew, or when to say that word that will fire up your stroke-man to crush the opposition — that’s all a topic for another column. Instead, I’d like to look at a simple change that you can make to your coxing that will make you much more effective in your everyday training: timing your calls to match the stroke cycle.
Hello, and welcome to something of a new venture for the Champs website.
Here at Champs, we’re very lucky to have a broad range of people from different backgrounds who want to try coxing, or who find themselves asked at the last minute to jump into the cox’s seat for a race. Nevertheless, it can be difficult for coxes to get specific coaching and advice of their own, especially when the coach has eight rowers to pay attention to; while learning by doing in this way is great, sometimes having a basic understanding of a certain aspect of coxing before you experience it can make the whole learning process that much easier.
The Champs ladies headed to the Tideway on Saturday 28th March for the annual Vesta Veterans’ Head of the River Race. Taking place over the winding 6.8km of the Championship Course, this race is certainly not for the faint-hearted, with the first test for the ladies coming in the form of the 6:15am coach from Cambridge. Thankfully, this was a challenge that they all rose to, and the “Seahorses” crew arrived on time at the University of London boathouse to meet up with their guest cox, ex-Clare and current Wolfson (Oxford) steersman Edward Mills.