ONE of the most crucial positions in a rowing team is that of the cox.
And both coxswains for Cambridge and Oxford will be in action this weekend as the Boat Race RETURNS.
What is a cox and where does the name come from?
'Cox' is short for 'coxswain' and the name originates from the Middle Ages.
In Middle English, a 'cok' was a small boat, while a 'swain' meant a servant.
The title can be used to describe anyone in charge of navigation and steering on a boat, duties which a cox in rowing must also perform.
What are the responsibilities of a cox during the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race?
According to regatta rules, the primary responsibility of a cox is always to ensure crew safety.
The cox is also in charge of steering and will typically turn the boat using two methods.
One is to pull on the tiller, a cable connected to the rudder, while the other is to call for increased pressure from rowers on one side of the boat.
On dry land, the cox acts as the coach's deputy, but inside the boat they must attempt to enact the coach's decisions and make tactical moves of their own.
Do all rowing boats have a cox?
While all boats in the Oxford Cambridge Race Day will have a cox, pairs and fours will often take place without a cox.
In the Olympic Games, only the eights are held with a cox.
All of Sir Steve Redgrave's five Olympic gold medals were won in boats without a cox, as he won the coxless pair four times and the coxless four once.
Why does the cox on the winning team in the Boat Race get thrown into the Thames?
It is a tradition that the cox of the winner of the Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford is thrown into the Thames.
After the race has finished the winning crew will be presented with the prestigious trophy.
Following the presentation, the cox of the winning team will be then thrown into the Thames by the crew to celebrate the crew's win.
Last year, Cambridge Women's team cox Jasper Parish was thrown into the Thames following their triumph in the 2022 Women's Boat Race.
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