Learn to cox

Have fun and, develop leadership skills and make new friends

Coxing at Clare

Coxing is a great way to make new friends at Clare, learn leadership skills and balance out your degree with spending time outside in nature. If you are new to the sport, it’s possible to "novice", both as a rower and as a cox, at the beginning of the Michaelmas and Easter terms. Coxing is free for everyone at Clare and you don't need to have any experience at all!

Learn to cox

While shouting through a headset is not an activity typically associated with rowing, coxing is an integral part of rowing, and crucial for the success of a crew. The cox is in charge of steering, and gives verbal instructions through a microphone.

Harry (left) coxing W1 in May bumps 2017

The cox is in charge of steering the best line, but they also play an important role maintaining the cohesion of the crew on and off the water and are instrumental in race tactics. They are responsible for making sure the crew is rowing with the correct rhythm and technique, acting as a "coach in the boat".

While being in the coxing seat is not always easy, it is immensely rewarding when crews respond to your calls and you can feel a positive change in the way the boat is moving as a result. Over time, you gain a different, and in some cases better, technical understanding of rowing than the average rower.

At Clare, we have had a history of great coxes that have experienced success at a college and a university level, and we would like to continue this going forward. We welcome anyone who wants to try coxing, and ensure every cox at Clare gets support and coaching. There's a novices' BBQ on the first weekend of Michaelmas and Easter terms where you can try out coxing and ask current coxes any questions you might have, or contact us at any time to bank-party an outing and see what it is that coxes do.

Develop leadership and communication skills

As the leader of the crew, as well as being in charge of racing lines and tactics being a cox is an excellent way to develop leadership skills and build confidence on and off the water. It looks great on your CV to signal to employers that you have experience leading and motivating a team, and is also a great way to develop the ability to perform under pressure.

Make lifelong friends

With crew meals and regular whole-club socials, rowing is a great way to meet people from different courses and ages in college. The cox is as much a part of the crew as any of the rowers, and your crew get you presents every term! Expect swaps, pub crawls, quiz nights and much more, as well as a termly Boat Club Dinner to celebrate the term's success with your crew in style.

Have fun

Whether it's thrill of racing, the rush of excitement when you say something that makes the boat go faster or being an essential part of a crew, coxing is a lot of fun! Most Clare coxes learned to cox at Cambridge, so don't be put off by a lack of experience.

Coxes of Clare

Ben learned to cox at Clare in his first year. He later became coxing rep and club social sec, and coxed W1 in his final two years as well as regularly coaching lower crews.

Favourite thing about coxing: you get to continuously chat and no one can tell you to shut up

Esther (front centre) learned to cox at Clare, and went to to cox The Boat Race for Cambridge University Women's Boat Club and even became their president! She recently had a boat named after her, and regularly comes back to coach crews.

Favourite bit of coxing: being able to make a call and feel the boat get faster and better as a result and know that you helped that to happen (especially in a race!)
Favourite thing about coxing at Clare: how fantastic and fun the people are

Harry (right) learned to cox at school and went straight into coxing W1 in his first year, before coxing Goldie in The Boat Race in his second year

Favourite part of coxing at CBC: "Of course nothing beats the adrenaline rush of close racing, but what makes CBC so special is that each crew of nine students (who often haven’t met before) grows into an incredibly tight-knit group over the course of a season. As a cox it’s hugely rewarding to help guide this process and see each rower develop in confidence as well as athleticism"

Harry (front-centre), who learned to cox at school, coxed M1 in 2018

Already cox?

We'd love to hear from you! We're always looking for new coxes. At Clare, we have had a history of great coxes that have experienced success at a college and a university level, and we would like to continue this going forward.
If you're a rower looking to switch to coxing, contact us to get fast-tracked into a higher crew.

Click here to learn more about rowing at Clare