Established 1873

Royal Anglesey
Yacht Club

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Events Programme


Starting to Cox


1. The cox is responsible for the welfare and safe-keeping of the crew and the management of the boat. The cox therefore makes the final decisions regarding the outing after the Launch Officer has given permission to go on the water.


2. Read the notes on Safety on this website. There is lots of essential advice here.

  This page just covers a few basic points. The WSRA Presentation on Coxing Celtic Longboats covers in depth all the aspects of Coxing Celtic Longboats, including motivation, responsibilities, racing tactics and safety.

Click on this link:


Then click on:
 WSRA Presentation on Coxing Celtic Longboats


3. Call the sides of the boat red side or green side.  Call the rowers number one or bow, number two, number three and stroke.


4. BOARDING: Supervise the boarding of the crew one at a time. Watch out for incoming swells and washes from passing boats and ships. Ask the crew to push the gunwhale down to help rowers to board and disembark.

Put the oars on the far side of the boat to avoid having to climb over them.


    LANDING: Approach the shore very slowly to assist the bow rower to get out and take hold of the boat. Instruct bow and 2 to stop rowing and just 3 & 4 to row lightly. Ask for one or two more strokes if required.

Supervise the disembarking of the crew one at a time.

   Take the rudder off while the boat is still in the water.   


5. Check that your boat displays a yellow flag and carries a vhf radio switched on and tied to the boat (not to your person), a throw bag and a yellow bag containing first aid kit and space blankets.

On longer trips such as Puffin Island and Conwy River, take in addition to the vhf a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch.


6. Check all crew are wearing life-jackets or buoyancy aids.

Put the bung in!


7. It is better to row into the wind first and then have the wind behind you on the return leg (unless the wind is light and the tide very strong).

8. Check each rower is ready separately before starting to row. Don’t just say “Is everybody ready?”

Note: The standard starting procedure is: quarter stroke, half stroke, three-quarter length stroke, full-length stroke.

9. Then use these commands:

Come forward to row  … Row
= whole crew rows


Ease oars     = stop rowing


Hold water   =Brace yourself & lower blade into water


Row lightly      = row at same rate but with less                                                 pressure


More pressure  = to speed up the boat or to ask one                side to row harder so less rudder is needed


Back down            = row the boat backwards


One stroke       = when approaching the shore


Ship oars    =take oars out of gates and lay oars in the                                                                  boat


Oars in  = pull oar in right across boat to avoid collision


These commands can also be addressed to the Red Side or Green Side or to pairs of rowers e.g. 3 and 4 or to individual rowers e.g. Bow.

10. Try using the rudder only when the blades are in the water. This is less likely to de-stabilise the boat.


11. Keep to the right when meeting other boats. Make your intentions clear early.

12. After 15 minutes or so of rowing the crew will probably need to stop to take off a layer of clothing. Don’t cook the crew!

13. If a rower falls overboard, appoint a crew member to point at the rower until he/she is back on board.

14. If the boat capsizes, check all crew are present and life-jackets are inflated. Make a Mayday call on vhf channel 16.

15. After landing:

- ensure that the Launch Officer is aware that your crew has returned safely.

- take the bung out so rain water will drain from boat.