UCF sophomore coxswain Katherine Kutash will be providing a behind-the-scenes look into the Knights varsity rowing team each week on the KnightLines blog with "Kat Out of the Bag".
By Kat Kutash
When I initially tell people that I am a coxswain on the UCF women's rowing team, their responses are predictable. Most people think I have called myself some kind of strange profanity, and reply with a statement along the lines of "That's cool, but what exactly is rowing?" This is a question that every rower will answer countless times. So in this post, I'm gonna break it down for you.
UCF Rowing is a sweep rowing team, which means rowers row with only one oar. In sweep rowing, rowers row on either the port (left) or starboard (right) side. The three sweep boats are the eight, the four, and the pair. Sweep rowing teams also include coxswains. A coxswain is a small, lightweight, non-rowing member of a team, whose main duties include steering, coaching, and motivating their crew. UCF rowing races both eights and fours. An eight is made up of eight rowers and one coxswain. Fours are comprised of four rowers and one coxswain. In a four, the coxswain typically lies down in the bow (front) of the boat, with their rowers behind them. In an eight the coxswain is seated at the stern (back) of the boat, with their rowers seated in front of them. Pairs are coxless small boats, rowed by one port and one starboard. At UCF, pairs are used mainly as a training tool.
The UCF Rowing team is divided into two squads, varsity and novice. Members of the novice rowing team are athletes who have never rowed before, or are college freshmen. Tryouts for the novice rowing team are usually held within the first month of school. The varsity squad is composed of experienced rowers and coxswains. In the spring, the varsity squad races four boats: the varsity eight, JV eight, varsity four, and JV four. Races are raced by each boat individually, with a certain number of points allotted to each event. At the conclusion of large regattas, each team's points are added up by their individual boats' race results, producing the overall winning team. The varsity eight is event worth the most points, which is why it is composed of the eight fastest rowers and coxswain.
Check back with me next week and we'll discuss exactly what kind of races UCF participates in and we also have inside information on this year's varsity captains.
See you then!