The Newcomer’s Guide to Regattas

Welcome to race day!  To help with the integration to the sport, and the lingo, we’ve developed a small guide to prepare you for this weekend and weekends to come.  Let’s start with a little vocabulary.  Prepare for Crew 101!!

“Weigh-enough” – a fancy way of saying STOP! Not a comment on one’s weight

Foot stretcher – plate with shoes that the rower secures his/her feet to

Rigger – those “metal thingys” off the sides of the boat that supports the oar

Coxswain – sounds like “cox-in”; the person steering and giving commands

Sweep – rowing with a single oar

Sculling – rowing with two oars

A Single (single scull) – one man sculling boat

A Double (double scull) – two man sculling boat

A pair – two man sweep boat (with or without coxswain)

A Quad (quadruple scull) – four man sculling boat

A Four – four man sweep boat (with coxswain)

An Eight – eight man sweep boat (with coxswain)

Head Race – Long race (Usually 3-5km in length) in which rowers race a twisting course; boats are sent off one at a time, with the goal of passing boats along the way; races are won by the endurance of the rowers and the skillful navigation of the coxswain.

Sprint Race – A straight-away race that is 2000 meters (or less) and is completed in less than 10 minutes; boats are lined up at the start line and sent off simultaneously

Now that we have some of the basic language down, let’s talk about this weekend.  The Head of the Oklahoma Regatta will be a 4k, i.e. a 4000 meter race.  Crews will row up to the start line, and be launched on the race course in a staggered fashion.  They will navigate turns and bridges, possibly pass other crews, and successfully cross the finish line – best times will place.

For an in the moment, play by play tutorial, grab a coach or a rower!!