Concord Crew started in the fall of 2000 with borrowed equipment, two coaches, and more rowers than seats. Concord Crew has since grown to over 100 athletes, six on-the-water coaches, and, finally, enough quality seats to put them all on the water. The program is run by a volunteer board and many parents and friends who work really hard!
Jay competed as a coxswain in high school and at Yale University. He has coached for the Syracuse Chargers, Yale, Syracuse University and The Derryfield School. At Yale, Jay's freshman lightweights won the Eastern Sprints. One of his Derryfield crews won the Northeast Regional and finished seventh in the nation.
Mike rowed four years at Ithaca College in the early 1980s, three as a varsity lightweight. After two years competing for the Albany (NY) Rowing Center, he moved to New Hampshire and learned to scull at the Amoskeag Rowing Club. He has been competing in masters' races ever since. Mike began coaching with Concord Crew in 2009.
Charmie learned to row with the Amoskeag Rowing Club. She regularly places in the top five at the Head of the Charles (including a bronze medal in 2010) and other masters regattas. Charmie was one of the original coaches for Concord Crew in 2000 then, after a short break, returned to coach the women.
Ben is a Concord Crew alum ('08) who returns to bring his rowing talent and great enthusiasm to the novice men.
Lauren is another Concord Crew alum ('12) who brings her considerable coxswain expertise to help the women's team.
2010 The Boat Race (Oxford vs. Cambridge)
Sport Graphics - for race photos
The ubiquitous Concept2 Erg
The Ninth Seat, home of Mary Whipple, US National Team coxswain
Coxie.com a forum for cosxwains with many first-person articles by young coxswains
Among the most physically demanding sports, rowing requires excellent
conditioning. Upper body and leg strength are
of equal importance as athletes row 1,500 meters (roughly one mile) in
under six minutes.
Brought to the East Coast of the United States from Great Britain in
the early 19th century, the sport is rich in sportsmanship and
tradition - coxswains of winning boats are thrown into the water and the
prize for the winner was literally the shirt off a competitor's
Rowers each use one oar in the coxed four and coxed eight events. In these events, sweep oars are positioned alternately on the sides of the boat, or shell. A coxswain steers the boat by pulling on wires attached to the rudder and advises the crew on racing tactics. The eight always carries a coxswain and is a remarkable event to watch; the boat is between 50 and 60 feet long (roughly the distance from home plate to the pitcher's mound on a baseball field) and moves at nearly 15 mph.
Concord Crew mostly races Eights and Fours with a cox. In the spring the races are Sprints -- fast, short (1,500 meters) distances where boats races against each other side-by-side. In the fall we compete in "head" races which are longer (roughly 3-miles) and boats start one at a time, about ten seconds apart, and race against the clock, but often pass each other as they wind down the course.
Blade coordination -- As the blades are brought out of the water, they should move horizontally at the same height, just above water.
Consistent speed -- Shells move slowest at the catch, quickest at the release and through the recovery. A good crew times the catch at the right moment to maintain speed and reduce "check."
Strokes per minute -- Stroke rates vary from boat to boat, depending on the number and size of the rowers. At the start of a sprint race, the stroke rate will be high (36-40 strokes per minute for an eight, 32+ for a single). The rate slows down during the middle of a race to 32-36 for an eight and 28-32 for a single. Finishing stroke rates - the sprint over the final 500m- can be as high as 40 strokes per minute.
What are they saying?
The language of crew is unique
and it takes a bit of getting used to. We hope this glossary will help.
Coxswain: Or "cox," the person who steers the shell and is the on-the-water coach for the crew.
Launch: The motor boat that follows the rowers to coach, observe, and ensure safety.
Shell: The boat in which the rowers and cox sit. CHS uses primarily Eight and Four oared shells with a cox. They are also referred to as an 8+ or 4+.
Catch: When the blade of the oar first enters the water with legs compressed, arms reaching forward. It is the most technically difficult part of the stroke to master and to coordinate among all rowers.
Drive: The legs push down, the back swings toward the bow, and the arms draw toward the body in one fluid motion. The oars actually bend or flex during the drive like a pole vaulter's pole.
Finish: At the end of the drive when the oar has released its flex, the hands push down (causing the oar to come out of the water) and away, and the rower feathers the blade so it is parallel to the water. This is the second most difficult and second most important technical aspect of the stroke.
Recovery: Now that the oar is out of the water and feathered, the hands push away over the knees, the shoulders and back tilt forward, the knees lift and the body coasts back toward the catch, slowly compressing to get ready for the next stroke. A relaxed and clean recovery is important because the boat is "running" its fastest during this part of the stroke, and the crew that coaxes every possible inch of run out of each recovery is often the fastest.
Sweep: One of the two disciplines of rowing – the one where rowers use only one oar. Pairs (for two people), fours (for four people) and the eight are sweep boats. Pairs and fours may or may not have a coxswain. Eights always have a coxswain. (The other discipline is sculling where each rower has two oars and there is no coxswain.)
Port: The left side of the boat, while facing forward in the direction of the movement.
Starboard: The right side of the boat, while facing forward in the direction of the movement.
Cox Box: The electronic device a coxswain uses that contains a microphone (there are several speakers spread throughout the shell) and a small computer that displays a stop watch, stroke rating and, sometimes, boat speed.
Power 10: A call for rowers to do 10 of their best, most powerful strokes. It’s a strategy used to pull ahead of a competitor.