Know your crew/equipment

Most of the rowing in Cambridge is done in VIIIs (eights), which have 8 rowers and a cox. Most of the rest is in IVs (fours) which have 4 rowers and a cox. The rowers are numbered, starting from the bows (the front of the boat) to the stern (the back of the boat). The numbering system always starts with bow and ends with stroke.;

Diagram
of an VIII

To make things easier for you, you can split the boat up into stern four (5,6, 7, stroke) and bow four (bow, 2, 3, 4). The standard warm up is in fours - stern four first, then bow four. You can also call on stern pair (7, stroke) and bow pair (bow, 2) for things like taking strokes for manoeuvring the boat.

The metal things which stick out from the side of the boat to hold the blades are called riggers, and the plastic bits that actually hold the blades are called gates. The blades are either macons which are the symmetrical blades, or cleavers which are more rectangular. The blades have handles which are wooden and to be held onto at all costs by the rowers. The spoon is the painted bit which goes into the water, and the bit in-between is the loom of the blade.

Inside the boat you have the saxboard which is the part of the boat furthest out of the water - the vertical sides of the boat. The seats slide along runners or slides, and each pair of shoes are mounted a foot-plate. Most boat have cox-boxes - speaker systems to talk to the crew. You are in charge of your cox-box and microphone.