The final lead up to race day
Loading the trailer and final checking the boat is hated by some coxes and loved by others. Start by checking that your cox-box works in the boat and if the boat requires sectioning that the connections are unplugged before the section bolts are released. Have the boat derigged and check that all of the riggers, backstays and blades are packed in the trailer, you don’t want to get to a race and to have forgotten all the backstays. Check all moving parts of the boat are secure for the trip, rudder, footplates, slide and seats are the most common to get lost whilst in transit.
Now is time to pack your pack your bag for the weekend, check out our piece on bag packing by clicking on the image below!
Get your rowers to rig your boat and check all bolts yourself (rigger bolts, section bolts, heel restraints, bowball secure and all wiring connected). Use the time now to check your cox box is fully charged and that all the speakers are working.
Usually, your coach will go and collect your school/clubs race numbers so make sure you remember your number from the Draw mentioned in part one. For the time trial, there will be paper numbers for the bow man (+ stern loaded coxes) to be attached with safety pins. For side by side racing later in the day, the paper numbers are not required because there will be a hard plastic ‘empacher-slot’ number instead.
Whilst rowers are relaxing and feeling up before a race, the coxes have one job, to weigh in. You are required to weigh-in in a reasonable amount of kit (if it is 28 degrees and sunny don't try and weigh in with full waterproofs and gloves). Take your lifejacket with you and any deadweight you think you will need, there can be practice scales to see how much deadweight you will need to make the minimum weight. You are not allowed to increase your racing weight with water, food or a cox-box, all deadweight has to be 'dead' as the name suggests, with no use to the crew. Your weight is taken by the weighing official and recorded on a slip of paper, along with your name, club and event you are racing in, keep this safe because you will need to show it to an official before boating for every race that day. The slip is only legitimate until the end of the day, if you are coxing an event on the day after e.g. 1st 8 on Saturday then Ch4+ on Sunday, you will require to weigh in on Sunday again to get a new slip.
Some coxes who are close to the weight limit will take on fluids and food in an attempt to make weight. Although this is usually frowned upon in the rowing world for health reasons, speak to your coach about the best plan for you. Drinking 500ml over time before weigh in to gain half a kilogram is going to keep you hydrated and focused rather than hinder your performance. If you have any questions about what you should do or your thoughts on this, we would love to hear from you, just message us on Instagram @allmarkone!
Have a quick talk with your coach and then have another team talk with your crew to finalise your race plan and the start sequence before you boat. Talk through a call you will make if you have them to ‘dig deep and go’, that won't be used anywhere else in the race. More race tips and tricks will be in a future piece.
When you start boating the Marshalls should check your weight certificate and life jacket. They will check these before the time trial, semi-final and final so make sure you keep both in good condition throughout the day! They’ll then check the boat over, noticeably heel restraints and hatch covers, but you checked them all earlier so there's no worries there!