The coxswain (or cox) plays a highly responsible role in any crew but it is often an extremely rewarding and enjoyable one. The cox acts as the eyes, ears and brain of the boat, in control of everything from tactics to motivating calls to steering.

The most important role of the cox is to ensure the safety of the crew whether that is during an outing in avoiding hazards or in a race with appropriate overtaking manoeuvres. Steering the boat is another critical role as it can be the difference between an impressive performance in a race and a disappointing one. Equally, the right call at the right time can spur the crew onto digging even deeper into their energy levels and coming up trumps when others are fading.

The boathouse is located on the Tideway, a stretch of the Thames which is subject to tides meaning the river level can vary by up to 7m each day. This makes coxing on the Tideway arguably the most difficult of any river in the UK, heightened by the huge amount of traffic. This means our coxes are trained to a very high level with a great awareness of other river users whilst having comfortable control over manoeuvring the boat.

UCLBC has a variety of boats meaning coxes have the opportunity to try their hand in both stern-loaders (where they sit at the back) and in bow-loaders (where they sit at the front) and in both fours and eights. The crews and coaches assist coxes’ development so that even complete novices are confident and regularly competing in races by the end of the year.

For more information about coxing with UCL please contact


Useful links for  Coxswain 

The Rowing Code

Navigation pattern for rowing on the Tideway stretch can be found here.

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