Question of the Day

In regards to steering during a sprint race, do you recommend using the tiller to steer or having the ports/starboards row with more pressure for a stroke or two in order to maintain a straight point?

If you have to steer, always use your rudder. The rowers will be too hyped on adrenaline at that point to be able to coherently give you the pressure adjustment you need and more importantly, it takes their focus off of what they should be doing.

Related: Hi! Since the spring races all start boats at the same time, do you have any tips on steering straight? I can tell when I’m veering off my lane, but for some reason, I can’t/don’t know how to fix it! I remember you saying it’s all about the small adjustments, then straightening out, but I can’t seem to get it. [Ex today: all 3 boats lined up, me on the outside, I end up too far out away from the other 2]. Tips? Thanks!

Plus it all goes back to steering being your responsibility so you have to get a good point before the race starts. Even when it’s really windy out, you’ve got to be on top of your steering to make sure you’re not drifting into another coxswain’s lane. I think my steering improved the most when I was forced to steer in bad conditions. Regardless though, unless you are in the process of getting a point before the start when you’re using bow pair, you shouldn’t be using the rowers at all to maintain your steering.

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