Question of the Day

What would you do if one of your rowers caught a crab during a sprint race?

If they caught a small-medium crab that was easily recoverable from, I wouldn’t do anything. Maybe a quick “get back into it, good recovery” but that’s it. If it was a large crab that caused the handle to go over their head and threw off my point, I’d stop, let them recover, then re-start as quickly as possible. I’d also remind the rower(s) to shake it off, refocus, and get us back in the race.

If it were an ejector crab, I’d do whatever we were told to do in the coxswain meeting. Sometimes you’re required to stop, other times you’re supposed to keep going and let the launches following the race pick up the rower. It depends but it’s something you should know.

Related: So I was watching ejector crab videos for a fun and I was wondering if someone falls out of the boat during a race should I stop or just keep going and leave them behind? I’m a novice coxswain. Thanks!

What I would not do, however, is freak out, lose my composure, and forget about the other seven people in the boat … or the fact that we’re racing. You’ve gotta be ready for anything because it’s your job to instruct the crew on what to do and how to recover. If you don’t have control over the situation and all the rowers are yelling and doing their own thing, it’s gonna make it that much tougher to get back into it.

Sometimes when we were doing 4x1k pieces, our coach would tell a rower on land (unbeknownst to the rest of us) that he wanted them to catch a crab sometime during the 3rd piece. We never knew it was coming and it was good practice for us because it was different every time – sometimes it was an easy recovery, other times the rower would really commit to it and catch an overhead crab that would not only force us to stop but also give me the added challenged of correcting my point while trying to manage everything else. I can’t recall if anyone ever caught a crab during a race but if they had, I definitely think we would have been prepared for it.


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