cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by Caroline Smit » Fri, 25 Jan 2002 22:39:56


To all the rowers out there, just out of interest, how much would you like your cox to weigh?

I know there's a compromise between weight and ability and it's often better to have a slightly heavier cox who actually steers a good line and motivates the crew than someone who might weight much less but isn't anywhere near as competent. But where would you draw the line? Do your clubs have any guidelines?

Also, have they got round to an official minimum cox weight for heavyweight crews yet?

Oxford's a bit weird about all this because with the standard of many lower college crews, the weight of the cox doesn't actually matter, and, at least in my college, it's based a lot more on who's friends with who than on who's actually any good at coxing. And also on who can make the outing times (because they don't do a science degree!).

My college women's first VIII split in to two IV+s for the autumn term 'cause Oxford has a fours regatta, and there's fours head too. The first VIII cox from last year (over 2 stone (28lbs) heavier than me, less motivational (according to the crews- I've never really heard him cox) and less experienced) got the 1st IV+ and I got the 2nd. Weird. Although we beat them at Fours Head and Nephthys regatta so they thought again about that one!

And a question for Oxford people... one of your college coxes is doing squad, and ends up a reserve and comes back to the college boat club with a good month to go before a regatta. Do you give them a first boat or stick with your other less experienced cox?  Or say sorry you can't cox at all this term, go away? (It happened to me- I'm not bitter 'cause I defected to Catz and got blades, just interested in what other people would do.)

 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by Mel Harbou » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 01:29:27

Quote:
> To all the rowers out there, just out of interest, how much would you like
your cox to weigh?

> I know there's a compromise between weight and ability and it's often

better to have a slightly heavier
Quote:
> cox who actually steers a good line and motivates the crew than someone

who might weight much less
Quote:
> but isn't anywhere near as competent. But where would you draw the line?

Do your clubs have any

Quote:
> guidelines?

At my college (Peterhouse, Cam), we don't have a lot of choice.  I took up
coxing in January last year because I'd injured my back and couldn't row,
but still wanted to be involved.  Now I'm what you might call 'on the heavy
side' for a cox.  I weigh between 70 and 73kg (almost invariantly!) and
initially I reasoned that I would be coxing one of our lower boats.  But it
turned out that I was the best we had (despite my weight!), so I wound up
coxing the best boat (1st Women) who got blades in the summer.  Now I'm
coxing and sculling in roughly equal proportions (my back's better again).
I would be rowing, but there's no-one else really up to coxing the first
women in Peterhouse at the moment.  Or more to the point that can get on
with the head coach well enough. :o)

Mel

 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by Anne Harriso » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 02:02:47

Mel however is the lucky one, when I was still a student I shared a boat
house with him. A couple of times I thought I would get to cox the first
eight these are the reasons I didn't.

One term, the captain said to me, we trust you to go out without a coach and
we are having trouble finding coaches for the 2nd VIII, so you can cox that.

The next term I was begged to carry on coxing and ended up coxing the 1st
VIII.

The next term there was a new captain, the cox of the 2nd VIII, my opinion
was valued when it came to selecting the crews, so I sat down and gave my
opinions, then it came to choosing coxes, the captain basically said "I'm
the captain, so I'll cox the 1st VIII". As I was rather stressed about my
project at the time, I basically said fine, and went and hid in the computer
lab!

My current club is much better, I thought I was overlooked a couple of
times, but this probably wasn't the case and particularly at the end of last
season a few people did beg me to cox there crew and in the end I think I
was the only cox that won anything at senior level!

Now its coming up to the tideway, muppet and I seem to be swapping between
the 2 senior eights and I'm sure whatever the decision it will be fair.

Basically the problem with colleges and coxes is that rowers don't really
appreciate there coxes and often there is no one experienced around (I was
coaching today and the crew was made up of last years and this years
novices, no one from earlier years!) who has enough weight to tell captains
to get there act together.

Caroline's story gives evidence for the value of a good cox, beating the 1st
IV! When I was coxing our 2nd VIII in Fairbairns I know we didn't beat the
first eight, but we came closer to them that we should have on times,
particularly as the first boat had 2 internationals in it (1 GB junior, and
1 Canadian U23 lwt)!

The problem with coxes (and rowers too) who do squad is not one I have
actually come accross, I remember last year when a couple of girls were
trialling, we would have gladly had them back to row, and just had to talk
very nicely to the current crew (they both made a boat so we didn't have to
cross that bridge). I would have thought that often one might just choose
not to cox and get on with some work!

If I were boat club captain in the situation Caroline described, I would
proably have tried to find out which coxes were planning to come back next
term and also bear in mind which year they were in, for instance if the
current cox was a final year student and the trialling cox was coming back
the following term, I might well carry on with the current cox and try and
be very nice to the trialling cox and persuade them to do some coaching both
of the rowers and of the cox.

Anne

 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by Henry Brau » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 03:20:41

Quote:

> I know there's a compromise between weight and ability and it's often
> better to have a slightly heavier cox who actually steers a good line
> and motivates the crew than someone who might weight much less but
> isn't anywhere near as competent. But where would you draw the line?
> Do your clubs have any guidelines?
> Oxford's a bit weird about all this because...

...it's bumps, which are *proper* racing and need a proper cox.

A good cox, who can anticipate the line needed around the blockage
*before* the crew in front bumps out; who, if your crew isn't fast enough
to bump before the crew in front gets overlap, can get her bows on the
outside of their stern so they can't steer for the bump without steering
into you; who knows when to stick to the racing line and when to chase
across the river... frankly, she's worth her weight in chocolate biscuits
if she wants them.

Last year we entered eights with our first boat cox a stone heavier than
the next man; perhaps an extreme example of the principle (and the boys
were bumped anyway, alas), but we select the cox as part of the crew and
her (or his) weight is her own affair.

If you want to calculate the penalty for excess weight, Anu's physics of
rowing page IYF. It's measured in tens of cm per kilo per kilometre. We
reckon that a good cox can be worth over half a length between Long
Bridges and the Head; so that puts a lower bound on the weight difference
worth worrying about.

To your other question:

Certainly we wouldn't deselect a cox mid-term if someone else swanned
in, just as we're pretty damn sceptical of rowers who are suddenly
available just before the regatta after all. When we've had senior coxes
return from squad in this way they've invariably made it very clear that
they don't want to get in the way of someone who's committed to the
college crew, and have instead helped with coaching.

 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by Rob Colling » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 03:30:23

Quote:

> ARA Rules of Racing, 2-3-7 c)
> "The minimum weight for coxswains shall be: 55kg for *** men, J16, J18
> and mixed; 50kg for *** women, WJ16 and WJ18; 45kg for all J15 and
> younger. To make up this weight a lighter coxswain shall carry
> deadweight."

> There is no absolute minimum, although I seem to remember from the mists
> of my mind that Henley Royal had a so-called "medical minimum" (i.e. a
> weight below which the cox was not allowed to even compete, even with
> sufficient deadweight to make up the shortfall) but I've just scanned
> through the rules and couldn't see anything that differed from the ARA's
> levels (55/50).

AFAIK Henley removed the absolute minimum last year. I think they also
changed their weights to bring them into line with the ARA's changes
(could have been the other way round).

FWIW the best two coxes I've ever had both weighed about 60kg (just over
9 stone). One did get swapped out for a lighter cox, but I don't think
it made any difference to the boat speed. This was back in the days of a
50kg minimum, so it seemed a fair way over the limit.

Rob.

 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by DanDaRowe » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 03:49:45

Quote:
> There is no absolute minimum, although I seem to remember from the mists
> of my mind that Henley Royal had a so-called "medical minimum" (i.e. a
> weight below which the cox was not allowed to even compete, even with
> sufficient deadweight to make up the shortfall

Here in NZ we have a minimum cox weight of something like 35kg, as it's much
easier to row with a 55kg weight than a wriggly cox with a high centre of
gravity.

Dosen't help anyone but thought someone may be interested.

 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by Anu Dudhi » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 03:58:24

An often-forgotten point when asking coxes to diet is that 10lbs of lard on
the cox slows the boat down just as much as 10 lbs of lard on your no.5 man.
So why are you only asking the cox to lose weight?
 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by Aliso » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 05:36:47


Quote:
> My college women's first VIII split in to two IV+s for the autumn term
'cause
> Oxford has a fours regatta, and there's fours head too. The first VIII

cox from last > year (over 2 stone (28lbs) heavier than me, less
motivational (according to the
Quote:
> crews- I've never really heard him cox) and less experienced) got the

1st IV+

That could be the whole other debate about same sex/opposite sex coxes.
Its controversial!

Quote:
> And a question for Oxford people... one of your college coxes is doing
squad,
> and ends up a reserve and comes back to the college boat club with a
good
> month to go before a regatta. Do you give them a first boat or stick
with your
> other less experienced cox?

I'll pretend this is a hypothetical question, and its never happened to me
so I can't say how I'd react.  The issue is not just one of whether they
are a better cox in absolute terms.  In some colleges not many novices
enter the first VIII after Christchurch and you could be looking at a crew
(including cox) who have been together since October.  That's a big
commitment, they've been through a lot together, yes the squad member has
done 500 outings in freezing cold weather too, but not with that crew to
get any kind of crew spirit, and rowing is a team sport.

If you demote either a rower or a cox to put a reserve squad member in
their place you change the whole balance of the boat (probably
literally!).  Yet you gain their experience, provided the crew can adapt
around them in time.  There are arguments before and against both ways,
I've known changes late before racing work incredibly well, I've known
them to be absolutely terrible, and I think you have to respect the coach
enough to allow them to make the right decision for that crew on that
occasion.

Any coaches care to comment on this one?

Alison

 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by Caroline Smit » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 05:58:51

Quote:
> That could be the whole other debate about same sex/opposite sex coxes.
> Its controversial!

I much prefer coxing men. Somehow it's easier to get much more aggressive
with a load of men, then a load of girls who are my friends. And there's
something about big men in lycra... ;o)

Quote:
> That's a big
> commitment, they've been through a lot together, yes the squad member has
> done 500 outings in freezing cold weather too, but not with that crew to
> get any kind of crew spirit, and rowing is a team sport.

I totally agree. Being a crew is way more important than 9 individually
fantastic people in a boat.

(when it happened to me I'd been promised a crew in advance then had it
taken away in a very *** fashion- the promise should never have been made
in the first place. I wasn't expecting them to pull someone else out for me,
but I'd been told that one of the coxes was off to persue another sport for
the term so I got all hopeful again but she was only doing it for the
vacation but no-one thought to tell me that. Communication breakdowns a
go-go!)

 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by James Eld » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 05:58:27

Quote:

> Also, have they got round to an official minimum cox weight for
> heavyweight crews yet?

Yep, a year or two ago the ARA standardised with FISA rules, so
minimum weights are now:

55kg for *** men, J16, J18 and mixed
50kg for *** women, WJ16, WJ18
45kg for all J15 and younger

(Rule 2.3.7.c)

The slightly peculiar thing is that the weight goes with the sex of
the crew, not the cox - so a male cox of a female crew could be 50kg.

This issue has been interesting me recently as, during this year's
sabbatical from coxing I have zipped up from 53kg to 58kg (that's
approx 8st 3lbs to 9 st 2lbs ish, or  115lbs to 128lbs for Americans).
  Very odd having been more or less constant at 53 for about 5 years -
it must be the lack of stress!

Since I feel fitter and happier at this weight, I don't want to have
to lose any of it when I come back to coxing next season.  I have
asked a few coaches and rowers their views, and the general consensus
is 'Don't be ridiculous.  It's what you say and how you steer that
matters.  Stop worrying'

It might be a factor in selection if you had two otherwise matched
coxes and all other things were equal - but they never are.

A final thought:

Last year, the Thames 'Slimettes' (thirtysomething ex-serious rowers
who get together for the Head each year) were stuck for a cox.  They
eventually persuaded an ex-Thames oarsman to take them.  This guy now
works for Chas Newens as a launch driver.  As such he knows every inch
of the Tideway and is a very good steersman.  He is a good coach (when
he can be coaxed out of the Duke's Head.  He is also about 5'11" and
weighs maybe 10st 7 - 11st (a classic lightweight).

The crew came 23rd in the Head.  So there you go.

 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by Caroline Smit » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 06:02:49

the cox who taught me to row was 6ft4 and not lightweight! Was _such_ good
fun!! (And he was a pretty good cox!)
Quote:
> Last year, the Thames 'Slimettes' (thirtysomething ex-serious rowers
> who get together for the Head each year) were stuck for a cox.  They
> eventually persuaded an ex-Thames oarsman to take them.  This guy now
> works for Chas Newens as a launch driver.  As such he knows every inch
> of the Tideway and is a very good steersman.  He is a good coach (when
> he can be coaxed out of the Duke's Head.  He is also about 5'11" and
> weighs maybe 10st 7 - 11st (a classic lightweight).

> The crew came 23rd in the Head.  So there you go.

 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by Stuart Jone » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 10:08:36


Quote:
> An often-forgotten point when asking coxes to diet is that 10lbs of lard
on
> the cox slows the boat down just as much as 10 lbs of lard on your no.5
man.
> So why are you only asking the cox to lose weight?

Shh Anu, don't tell people that!!!  Anyway, me at 7, lifts the bows out of
the water a bit ;-)
 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by Stuart Jone » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 10:10:49

Quote:
> And there's
> something about big men in lycra... ;o)

What, that we all look incredibly stupid?
(says he who realised when he washed his kit the other day that he now owns
over 200 of lycra...!)
 
 
 

cox weights (related to dieting while heavily training)

Post by j.. » Sat, 26 Jan 2002 18:27:31

: Since I feel fitter and happier at this weight, I don't want to have
: to lose any of it when I come back to coxing next season.  I have
: asked a few coaches and rowers their views, and the general consensus
: is 'Don't be ridiculous.  It's what you say and how you steer that
: matters.  Stop worrying'

Quite. Who would want to be steered by an unhappy cox when their mental
state is so important to their ability to motivate the crew?

Can we use this as a bargaining tool for favours/drinks? :-)

Jon
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