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What Exactly is Crew? Can't it Just be Called Rowing?




According to Urban Dictionary:

Crew (krü) n. 1. a sport practiced in rowing boats where the participants willfully awake before dawn and run to practice where they spend one to two hours sitting on a hard wood seat and pull on oars to such a level as to cause their bodies to go into oxygen debt, resulting in the formation of lactic acid in their blood, which causes substantial pain and discomfort in all major muscle groups. This activity is usually performed twice a day in the name of fun, and is conducted under the demonic supervision of a person called "Coach" with the help of his trained servant named "Coxswain".


Where Do You Race? How can you practice off season?


Crew races are referred to as regattas, therefore, the Ocean City Crew team attends regattas at Lake Lenape in Mays Landing, NJ and we participate in the Manny Flicks on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA. We will race wherever we can afford to go where there is a body of water and other boats - we like a challenge! If we have a good season, we race in Stotesbury (the biggest high school regatta in the nation) and Nationals. Last year, our boys Freshman boat won Stotesbury!


We practice off season in the gym. We practice on machines called ergometers, ergs, or death machines. When our coaches think the weather is warm, say 35 degrees, we get on the water. The theory seems to be, the tougher the practice, the harder we row. 

What's Up with the Weird Terminology? What's a Coxswain?

Crew certainly does have some weird terms. But once they are mastered, it all makes sense. The following will help:

Coxswain, pronounced /ˈkɒksən/, or cox, is usually the oar-less small person who sits in the back, or stern of the boat, facing the rowers, and yells directions to the rowers. If the boat goes off course, it may be the coxswain's fault. It is also their fault if the boat runs into a bridge. They are the on water coach who organizes the rowers and makes tactical decisions to help guide the boat in the water. The coxswain either sits in the stern or lies in the bow of the boat.


How does the Coxswain talk to the rowers? Isn't it loud on the river?


Yes, it is very loud on the river and the rowers are usually stressed while pulling a power 10. That's why the Coxswain uses what is know as a Cox-box to yell to the rowers. A Cox-box is a headset attached to speakers connected to the inside of the boat so when the Coxswain yells, all the rowers can hear her/him.


Can you tell me what some of these other words mean?


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