Happy Coxing Day

Cox is short for coxswain. The coxswain is the little person who sits in the back of the boat and yells. I don’t have any of my own pictures of coxswains although I do have first hand experience. I rowed in a coxed four racing shell for a season in 1992. Our cox was named Lucy and not only did she yell instructions at us i.e. “More power port side” or “Let it run”, she was also in charge of steering, watching out for hazards on the water, and for seeing that the crew rowed in unison. She was the chief cook, we were the bottle washers. She called all the commands for getting the boat off the rack, down the dock and into the water. She made sure we all placed, dipped and pulled our oars at the same time. And Legally she was ultimately responsible for the safety of the crew and of the boat.

A cox in acton. I don’t know who these people are or who took the picture. I hope they won’t mind me borrowing it.

I tried coxing once for another crew who were in a pinch when their cox didn’t show up. Nope, never again. Squeezed into the stern end of a four trying to see around the rowers to watch for million and one buoys in the Arm, and trying to yell over the traffic noise so that the rower in the bow could hear me was not what I would call fun. On top of that, it was race night at the Yacht Squadron and they didn’t take kindly to us recreational rowers cutting across their course.

So let us raise a toast to all those talented cox’s out there who keep us on course and rowing like a team.


I know its a tiny glass, I’m cutting back. Celebrating the 12 days of _oxing is taking its toll.

It’s only a fraction of the size of my servings on Knoxing Day or Mailboxing Day. So I shall have seven. Eight if there is enough in the bottle, and still I’ll be drinking less.

© Judy Parsons 2017. Except rowing picture.

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