Coxswains

What the heck are they?

Urban Dictionary:
coxswain

n.
characteristics of the coxswain:
-stands around 5 ft 2 in
-weighs no more than 110 lbs.
-directs and steers the boat for crew
-sits normally in the stearn but in certain 4 person crews in the bow
-has a voice that can be heard for miles
-is seen toting around water bottles, shoes, socks, and the ever popular cox box
-has a mysterious tan line in the middle of his or her forehead from the strap attached to the microphone on the cox box
-upon winning a race, the coxswain is thrown into the (often very dirty) water
-he or she is in charge of directing practices, calling races, and making certain that the $30,000 boat does not hit any other objects such as a bridge, floating log, another boat, or a dock

Common calls of the coxswain:
-“LET IT RUN” (used to stop the boat)
-“WEIGH ‘NUFF” (used to stop the boat)
-“PORT/STARBOARD PRESSURE” (to direct the boat)
-“POWER TEN in TWO, ONE, TWO” (used in races to make the boat go faster, often at the dismay of the crew)
and the ever popular:
-“HOLY &*^#, CHECK IT DOWN, WERE ABOUT TO HIT THAT BRIDGE” (self explanatory)

Man…that coxswain sure is tiny but she has a very loud mouth, her crew wouldn’t be able to survive without her.

Useful Links
9th Seat – Mary Whipple’s entertaining and informative blog (check out Whip’s Tips)
Coxswaination – take a look at the dowloadable pdfs and links — invaluable!

Videos
Cox School – Mary Whipple Faster Higher Stronger
Mary Whipple – Women’s Eight Rowing Olympic Rewind
St. Ignatius Vs. Shrewsbury Recording/Tribute

Articles
Excellent New York Times piece on Mary Whipple
The Ninth Seat: Coxswains are Worth Their Weight in Gold
USRowing Coxswain Appreciation Week Winners