Each of the classes on the learn2cox programme is based around a specific topic, as outlined below.

Theory Sessions

Practical Sessions

Introductory Session
- Intro to the club & to rowing
- Boathouse tour
- Terminology of boats & boat parts

Basic Technique
- How to row (what the cox needs to know)

Safety Briefing
- General safety information
- Equipment
- Use of cox boxes
- Roles & responsibilities of the cox

Essential Commands
- Words to use
- Timing/placement of calls
- Standard routines

Steering & Navigation
- General river rules
- Maidenhead-specific rules
- How the rudder works
- Using the stream to your advantage

Navigating the Maidenhead Reach
-- Follow-up to navigation theory class

N/A Essential Boat Manoeuvres
- Leaving the raft / arriving back / turning
- Warm-up & pressure work
- Normal stopping & emergency stop

You may also find the following sources of information useful:

Oxford University BC's Coxing Handbook
This outlines the basic elements of coxing, including terminology, steering and basic commands

Trinity College BC's Guide To Coxing
This is an excellent overall guide covering all the core elements of coxing in a very readable fashion.  There are a few small things I would disagree with:

  • The description of the steering set-up for a front-loader coxed four is only correct if the rudder wires are crossed at the yoke.  The reverse is true (i.e. the direction in which the steering rod is pointing indicates direction of travel) if the wires are uncrossed, which is the norm at Maidenhead and is also the standard set-up in which boats are delivered from manufacturers.
  • Blades are not angled at 45 degrees to the water when taking the run off.  It takes far too long to stop if only the bottom two inches of the cleaver are being used to bring the speed down.  Instead, the blade handle should be lifted with the blade in the feathered position, and the further you lift, the quicker you will stop (see Thames RC's link below)
  • Spinning: The general description is correct, however, the cox should be aware of stream conditions and position the boat accordingly before starting to spin in order to complete the turn in the fewest possible strokes whilst also using the stream to assist.  This is covered in the practical sessions of the coxing course at Maidenhead.

Peterhouse (Cambridge) BC's Coxing Guide
A useful collection of hints and tips for novice coxes

The Coxswain Café
Lots of useful material on this site - have a browse…

This one is American, so beware - the terminology is different - but there seems to be some amusing 'how not to' items, and maybe the odd gem or two…

Thames RC's Steering Test
Coxes and oarsmen/women at Thames are tested for competency before being allowed out unsupervised.  Details of the exact process for an emergency stop are listed under Test Two.  This procedure is also covered in the Maidenhead coxing course.

Recommended Reading

Coxing: Surviving the Wilderness Years
by Tom Hooper

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