50 Rowing Definitions for Novice Parents

Rowing Term

Novice Parent Definition 


The Rowing term for an event. Boats gather together and race. 


AKA “The Drive” The motion of moving your oar through the water. 


The main tool used by a rower. A long pole with a blade at the end that moves the boat. 


The flat, painted part at the end of the oar. Drives through the water and generates power. 


The metal rods sticking out the side of the boat that holds the oars in place. 


A pair of shoes attached to the boat a rower velcro’s their feet into. Makes sure that a rower has a steady anchor point to push off from during the race. 


Where the rower sits. Slides back and forth to allow the rower to easily move back and forth to fully complete their strokes during a race. 


Before a race, when rowers attach the riggers to the side of the boat with nuts and bolts

Racing Shell

Simply put; the boat. Without any riggers, foot stretchers, or wiring. 


Your oar points out the right side of the boat. Your left hand is your outside hand. 


Your oar points out to the left side of the boat. Right hand is your outside hand


Sits in the front of the boat. Steers the boat and motivates the rowers. 

Cox Box

Plugs into the boat. Allows the coxswain to see stroke rate and talk to the rowers in the back of the boat using the built-in microphone. 


Runs throughout the boat. Connects everything to the Cox Box

Stroke Seat

The rower at the front of the boat. Sets the tempo for the entire boat

Bow Seat

The rower in the back of the boat. 

Stoke Rate

How many strokes a rower takes per minute. In the fall, we normally sit around a 26 or 28 stroke rate.


Right before a rower takes a stroke. The blade is right above the water, the rower’s legs are bent, and their hands are turned and extended outside the boat


The end of the stroke. A rower's legs are extended and their hands are pressed against their abdomen. 


During the finish, a rower bend backward to allows the boat to more easily glide through the water. 


 Slowly moving from the finish back to the catch. Where feathering occurs. 

Square Rowing

Keeping the blade perpendicular to the water the entire time. 


On the recovery, flipping your oar from squared (perpendicular) to flat. This makes it easier for the boat to glide on the water but makes the boat harder to control. 


When a rower's recovery is too fast. The boat loses momentum because rowers are pushing too hard in the opposite direction. 


How level the boat is. Boats are not supposed to wobble back and forth. Perfect set means the boat will stay completely still the whole time. Bad set means the boat might flip. 

Handle Height

Where each rower holds their hands. Everyone’s hands should be on the same plane. 


A four-person boat. Harder to keep set (control) than an eight-person boat


An eight-person boat. Easy to set (control) and extremely powerful. 

Way ‘nuff

Coxswain slang for “way enough” tells the rowers to immediately stop what they’re doing.


AKA “rowing machine.” What we use to continue training in the winterMeasures power and stroke rate. 

Power 10

A “call” by the coxswain to motivate the rowers.  The rowers put all their effort into the next ten strokes. 


Your oar catches too much water, turns sideways, and pops back into your face

Ejector Crab

When you crab so bad, you’re launched out of the boat (doesn’t happen too often).

Bow Loader

When a Coxswain sits behind the rower in the bow

Stern Loader

When a Coxswain sits in the front of the boat

Seat Numbers

2 seat, 3 seat, 4 seat, 5 seat, 6 seat, and 7 seat

Numbers used to identify where rowers in the middle of the boat sit. 

In rowing, we count backward. So, the higher the number, the closer to the front the rower is. 

Paddle Pressure

A coxswain tells a rower to give as little pressure as possible. 


The steering mechanism in the boat. 

Hot Seat

When a group of rowers jumps in a boat that just finished a race and doesn't remove the boat from the water at all. 


A five thousand meter race only rowed in the fall. A slower paced, long-distance race. 


A two thousand meter race only rowed in the spring. A full out sprint. 

Washing Out

Completely Missing water on a stroke 


When your blade is too high off the surface of the water. 


When a rower carries their hands too low at the catch, and the boat shifts one way. 


When a rower’s oar is more submerged in the water than necessary. 

Outside Hand

Depends on whether a rower is a port or a starboard. The outside hand provides most of the power

Inside Hand

Depends on whether a rower is a port or a starboard. The inside hand does the feather and maintains control of the stroke. 


When everyone in the boat is out of synch, and each of the eight oars is going in a different direction. 


When a rower puts their oar up and down to quickly stop the boat from moving. 

CRASH-B Sprints 2017

On February 12th, Novice Woman, Audrey Gordon, traveled to Boston in order to compete at C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints, which stands for the Charles River All-Star Has-Beens. This regatta has been taking place since 1982 and has definitely evolved and become more competitive over time. The event consists of an indoor rowing race of 2000 meters with competitors from all over the world. Audrey competed in the Open Women heat against over 145 other rowers. The competition was fierce, but Audrey was able to make a name for Marquette Crew and her teammates back home by finishing in 42nd place with a time of 7:24.7! We are very excited to see what the future has in store for this incredible and passionate rower!


You can read more about Audrey and C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints here.


You can find the rest of the results here.

Fight Club Frenzy 2017

On January 28th, the team headed on over to the 3rd annual Fight Club Frenzy in order to compete in a 2000m indoor regatta against rowers from MSOE and Milwaukee Rowing Club. The rowers competed in several different heats where all of the ergs were linked to a computer so that the racing would be shown on a screen. The competition was fierce, but Marquette still pushed through and brought home 2 medals! Novice Woman, Audrey Gordon, took 1st in her race finishing with 7:30.5 piece. Varsity Woman, Sarah Reis, also took 1st in her heat for the second year in a row finishing with a time of 7:24.2. Overall, all the rowers had a great time competing and was a great stepping stone for what the spring season has in store for us!

You can find the rest of the results here.


Fall Season Concludes with the Bald Eagle Collegiate Invite

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - All squads packed up and headed to Indianapolis, Indiana for the Bald Eagle Collegiate Invite this weekend to wrap up fall racing. Flat water, beautiful scenery, and 45 degree weather resulted in perfect conditions for racing.

Race day began with coaches and coxswains meeting at 9 AM, while the rest of the team unloaded the trailer and began to rig boats. The first race of the day was the Varsity Women's 4+ - A event, where the women started the regatta off right with a third place finish and a time of 18:26. Both the B entry and C entry competed in the Varsity Women's 4+ - B event, finishing with times of 18:15 and 19:43, respectively. The Novice Men's 8 - A event was up next with the men coming through the line with a time of 18:19. The Novice Women's 8 - A had a solid finish earning third place over Illinois and DePaul in their event with a time of 18:16. Additionally, our Novice Women's 8 - B also brought home some hardware with a second place finish and a time of 19:01. Up next, the Men's Varsity 4+ - A boat overcame some stiff competition from crews, and pulled through with fifth place finish to edge out Notre Dame, and with an overall time of 16:06. The Men's Varsity 4+ - B boat finished with a time of 18:30. The Men's Novice 4+ pulled together to finish with a time of 19:49.

After a short break, racing resumed in the afternoon with the Novice Women 4+ event. The Marquette Novice Women brought home silver in the 4+ event with a time of 20:45. The last races of the day were the premiere events - the Varsity 8's. The Marquette Varsity Women had three entries. The Varsity Women 8 - A put up a competitive time of 17:13. Both the Varsity Women 8 - B and C placed second behind Purdue in their respective races with times of 17:57 and 17:59. To finish off racing, the Men's Varsity 8 - A and B event, saw some thick competition with the A boat coming in with a 15:18, and the B boat finishing with a time of 19:05.

The program had a successful day, with the women's team finishing third overall for the Women's Points Trophy. The team finished fourth overall out of eleven programs for the Team Points Trophy.

All in all, Marquette had a great time at our last Fall race of the season, with many of our boats going home with medals! A big thank you to everyone who dedicated their time, kindness and support to make this season possible for all of us; especially our MU Crew coaches and parents, we could not have done it without your guidance and assistance. We are already counting down the days to see everyone back in the spring!

Marquette Crew Competes at Prestigious Head of the Charles

BOSTON, MA - This past weekend, the team loaded up and headed to Boston, Massachusetts for the 52nd Head of the Charles Regatta. This prestigious regatta has been around since 1965 and is by far the largest two-day regatta in the world, where more than 11,000 competitors, and 800 clubs come out to compete. The 3-mile course consists of six bridges, making it vital for coxswains to know the course extremely well in order to execute each unique bridge, and turn as precisely as possible. The team arrived in Boston on Friday afternoon, eager to get on the course and be able to practice one last time before the big race. This year we had four entries competing on the Charles. Although Saturday started off rainy and cold, the regatta went on with our first boat racing in the Men's Club 4+, which was stroked by Brennan Dougherty, followed by Vincent Wirth, Nathan Desutter, Patrick Knapp, and coxed by Katie Fletcher. The men powered through and finished in 39th place, with a time of 19:41.63. Later that night, the entire team and families that were in town headed over to Jacob Wirth for a delicious German dinner.

The conditions for Sunday proved to not be much better with lower temperatures and strong gusts of winds that were up to 40 mph. Nonetheless, the team remained in high spirits in anticipation for the other three events being competed in that day. The first race of the day was the Men's Collegiate 4+, which was stroked by Adam Kobiela, followed by Rick Kaufmann, Stephen Pleasant, Cristian Kuang, and coxed by Ale Tomasino-Perez. The men really came together, pulled their hardest, and their efforts showed finishing in 16th place with a time of 18:48.94. Placing 16th, out of 43 boats entered in the event, landed them in top half, which then secured their spot in the event for next year! Marquette also had a boat competing in the Women's Collegiate 4+ that was stroked by Lauren Daly, followed by Sarah Reis, Kelli Kennedy, Erin Zinkula, and coxed by Andrea Matsudaira. The women passed several crews en route and clocked a time of 22:18.03, before incurring a one-minute penalty and placing 23rd overall. The last race for the day was the Women's Lightweight 4+, which was stroked by Bridget Moffett, followed by Anna Kratzke, Karina Folliard, Molly Merrion, and coxed by Lynn Nguyen. These women faced fierce Ivy League competition, and pushed through every stroke to finish in 9th place with an overall time of 21:45.02. Overall, the Head of the Charles was a success and a once in a lifetime experience that will be engraved in our memories forever.

Looking forward, Marquette will wrap up the fall season on November 5th with the Bald Eagle Collegiate Invite in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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