Vocabulary of Gig Rowing


1. Vocabulary

Bow: front pointed end, with a bow fender, bow line should be length of gig and capable of use as a tow line and as a throwable mooring line.

Stern: back blunt end, stern line should be a throwable mooring line.

Rudder: a “brake” that hangs on a pintle on the Stern,

Cox: Sits in stern, as close to the stroke rower as possible. Is as light as possible and sits as still as possible.

Seagull: a passenger in bow,

Oars: numbered according to position, handle – leather – loom (shaft) – blade.

Pins (Thole Pins): hard bow-end and soft stern-end lightly dropped in; spares

Stretcher: foot rest; adjustable; straps, extensions set so the rower is sat on front edge of seat

Seat position: half way between centre line and gunwale

Rower numbering from bow: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Stroke side: 2, 4, 6 oars extend to the left of the rower

Bow side: 1, 3, 5 oars to the right (avoid use of port and starboard)

The Stroke: rower 6, closest to the cox, first rower to board the gig

Second Stroke: rower 5

Kit up: oar vertical, blade uppermost, handle between feet

Ready to row: oar between the pins, leather ½ in ½ out

Hands: outside hand has an under-hook with thumb on end of oar inside hand has an over-hook (could be both over-hook!), 1 - 2 hand width gap between hands.

Forward to row: blade with slight stern pitch ie top tipped to cox, blade near surface, outside hand over inside foot.

Take it away: row in an arc at the pace of the rowers in front

Ease (oars; your kit): stop rowing, oars out of water

Ship (oars; your kit): raise oars up and then lie down in boat blade towards stern

Back up: row in reverse to back-the-boat stern first

Hold (water): place oar in water stationary

Dig in: hold water in earnest to stop the boat

Dip: a single small gentle forward stroke

Up one: a single short stronger stroke

2. Essentials of the stroke

The Catch: when the oar quickly enters the water blade angle just off vertical (10° of Stern Pitch i.e. top towards stern) rower reaching fully forward over toes.

The Drive:
the power stroke, legs drive – body rocks back,
shoulders and chin up, core stable, back strong,
rock back on bottom not bend at waist
take shoulders back towards the bow
keep arms straight until end of drive
90° (55 +35) rowing arc around the hard pin
Blade to be only just under surface
hands to chest height (not stomach) at the Finish
outside hand to centre chest, sternum

Finish :
once you have no weight in your stroke get the oar out
do not row past the body
keep your weight in the boat not out to gunwhale
drop inside shoulder and elbow slightly
turn inside shoulder back slightly
keep inside elbow in and down
drop hands down to lap to extract
keep hands moving finish stoke with hands over knees

Recovery:
hands move away first, body follows hands
pull up the upper body using your hip flexors, strong core
rock body forwards smoothly don’t jerk
arms straight, shoulders forward, legs bend
chest and chin up

Feathering:
during recovery is an advanced technique to be tried early

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