Cam specific information
There are about 30 rowing clubs that use the same stretch of water,
that in most places can only just about get 2 boats side by side.
These means that it is vital to stick to the rules about where you
should be on the river. You will learn all the landmarks on the Cam
by experience, but here are some general remarks:
- Stay on the right side of the river (as the cox looks at it),
apart from around Grassy Corner. Here, change to the left hand side.
This is done so that crews going upstream have the racing line around
all of the major corners. The two points at which to change sides of
the river are opposite the Plough Pub, and halfway along The Gut. In
both cases boats travelling upstream have right of way.
- Crews going upstream (towards the boathouse) have right of way, so
keep to the outside of the corners when travelling downstream.
- Faster crews have right of way over smaller ones. This doesn't
mean that they can overtake when it's not safe to do so.
- Boat can carry course signs, on the bows of the boat when
travelling upstream over the main part of the river. This means that
the boat has right of way over other crews (apart from faster crews).
- Try not to stop at all in the narrowest part of the river, the
Gut, and not to stop for too long in Plough Reach.
Included in this document is a map
section of the River Cam that we generally row along. Most outings we
set off from the Boathouse (which is marked on the map, number 6)
travelling downstream. Our boats will generally travel down to
Baitsbite Lock, spin and come back to the Pike and Eel Pub. A
outing would then return back to the boathouse.
If the crew is doing a double shuffle
the boat would spin and
go back to Baitsbite Lock, and then spin and go home. This is the
normal for a senior crew.
- As the cox you are in charge of the boat. You are responsibly for
it and your crew's safety. If anything happens to the boat please
report it to someone - the Captain, the head cox, or to Jim Cameron
the boatman who works at the boathouse and fixes our boats if we're
nice to him.
- You can easily get the college a good or bad reputation on the
river by your actions. Try not to aggravate other boats, but if
another boat is really being a pain, you can probably get them fined!
That said, don't let the other boats push you around (unless their
blades are coloured light blue, in which case they are university
boats!). You have as much right to be on that river as they do.
- The coxes job does not stick at what I have mentioned in this
document. In time as you cox more you will learn how to coach the
rowers, which is probably the most valuable asset to a crew. Included
at the end of this document is a guide to good rowing technique. You
are also there to insult them or praise them if necessary, and to
encourage them both in training and in races. After all races are
what we train for, and if the cox doesn't get the best out of the crew
on race-day, then there is no point in all the hours spent in
training. There is nothing worse than a cox who makes it clear by the
tone of their voice that they don't want to be there, or that they
don't really care about the crew.
- Nobody minds a cox who makes a mistake. People hate coxes who
make the same mistake over and over again. If you do something wrong
and people shout at you, find out what you did wrong and do it better
next time. Then forget it, and don't go on about it. Do not be
afraid to accept criticism - you should always be trying to improve.
Don't try and justify what you did wrong, just accept it.
- In the boat you must be decisive. Make a decision, preferably the
correct one, fast and don't mess about when telling your crew what to
do. Don't forget that most of the crew probably think they can do
your job better than you, so you really have to be authoritative in
the boat. In some respects some of the best coxes are actually feared
by the crew, although this can be taken too far.
- Learn to communicate with stroke. They can generally feel more of
what's happening in the boat, and should give you ideas of what to say
to the crew. You must work together. Generally repeat what stroke
and your coach tells you when it's meant for the crew, although this
can be taken to far