A cox or coxswain is a vital member of the crew and is the person in charge of the boat, particularly its navigation and steering. Coxswains are an integral member of the crew without whom the outing, race or victory would not be possible.

The role of a coxswain within a crew is to:

  • Keep the boat and rowers safe at all times by properly steering the boat (according to the river or regatta rules and safety for the crew)
  • Be in command of the boat
  • Coach the crew when the coach is not present
  • Provide motivation and encouragement to the crew
  • To provide feedback on the crew performance both in and out the races
  • Make any necessary tactical decisions
  • Organize and direct the crew at all times, including when putting the boat away etc.
  • Be responsible for the vessel; technically in the event of a collision, the coxswain is accountable under maritime law as ‘Master of the vessel’ however as a club member they are fully insured.

A cox must be positive, a good motivator and very encouraging – being small is also an advantage! Exeter Rowing Club is always looking out for new cox’s so if you would like to be part of the club’s success and compete in some of the country’s most prestigious rowing events then please contact the Club Captain, no experience is necessary as the club will provide any necessary training.

Cox’s don’t need to get involved in the strenuous land training (although we encourage you to join in), pay reduced membership fees, don’t pay any entry fees and traditionally the crew pay for the cox’s costs when competing away from home, but they still get to share in the crew’s success, receiving tankards, medals etc. for winning – so all gain and no pain, however you may get thrown in the water when your crew win a big race!
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