To be authorised as a cox, members need to demonstrate their competency in the following areas.

Pre Departure

  • Prepare the boat for departure (arrive at least 10 mins early)
  • Assess the ability of crew by conversation
  • Assess weather conditions
  • Know how to access and interpret tidal conditions
  • Brief the crew on the intended activity
  • Ensure that all lifejackets are correctly fitted
  • Request crew sit in appropriate positions with regard to ability and weight
  • Support crew in getting correct rowing set up, i.e. sitting position and foot plates
  • Brief crew on departing pontoon


  • Secure chains across access gap
  • Safely depart pontoon with regard to wind and tidal conditions
  • Manage crew to ship oars safely
  • Gain control of the boat and prepare to row


Use correct commands:

  • Stroke side / Bow side
  • Crew numbering
    • Number 1: bow oar / bow side
    • Number 2: stroke side
    • Number 3: bow side
    • Number 4: stroke oar / stroke side
  • Come Forward
  • Ready / Row
  • Row Light / Row firm  / Easy / Hold Water / Back Water

Coach crew in basic rowing techniques:

  • Matching stroke’s time
  • Straight back
  • Straight arms / long reach / clean ‘catch’ / long stroke / lean back into the finish (Diagram)
  • Demonstrate ability to control two sides of the boat independently including at least one ‘buoy turn’
  • show understanding of crew’s abilities and tailor session to suit


  • Bring boat safely back to pontoon in control Watch video
  • Ensure oars are shipped in good time to avoid damage to oars or other craft
  • Ensure crew disembark in a safe manner (only one person standing at one time)
  • Moor vessel appropriately using suitable knots and methods and awareness of hazards – Rafting diagram
  • Tidy vessel
    • unship rudder
    • lash oars
    • stow footplates
    • stow lifejackets in locker
  • Record and communicate immediately (by email to with DAMAGE REPORT in the subject line) anything which may prejudice the next rowing session, eg a broken pin or damaged life vest

Download printable copy

Organising rowing sessions

Coxes are also responsible for  setting up rowing sessions using Eventbrite, a popular event management tool. Watch the instructional videos.

  1. Setting up events
  2. Managing sessions

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