Basic (Regatta) Information


The forward section of the boat and the first part to cross the finish line. Bow number — A card holding the number assigned to each boat for a race.

Bow seat

The rower closest to the front or bow of a multi-person shell. In coxless boats, the person often keeps an eye on the water behind themself to avoid accidents.


A portable voice amplifier. It may also incorporate digital readouts displaying stroke rate, boat speed, and times.


The oarless-crew member who is responsible for steering and race commands. The coxswain either sits in the stern or lies in the bow of the boat.

Engine room

The middle group of rowers in the boat. In an eight, this is generally seat’s 3, 4, 5, and 6. They tend to be the biggest and strongest rowers.


The top rail of the shell.

Hatchet blade

Oar blades that have a more rectangular shape. (See Macon blade)


A rower who weighs more than the restrictions for lightweight rowing.


A rower whose weight allows him or her to be eligible to compete in lightweight rowing events.

Macon blade

Oar blades that have a curved shape. (See hatchet blade)


A sweep rower who rows with their oar on the left side of the boat.


A rower who sculls; rows with two oars.

Seat numbers

A rower’s position in the boat, counting up from the bow. In an eight, the person closest to the bow of the
boat is “bow,” the next is 2, followed by 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and finally 8 or “stroke.”


A sweep rower who rows with their oar on the right side of the boat.


A rower who rows with one oar.

Stroke seat

The rower closest to the stern of the boat who’s responsible for the stroke rate and rhythm.

“Hard on port (or starboard)”

Rowers on that side of the boat must row harder (and the opposite side must row slightly easier) in order to facilitate a sharp turn.


To stop rowing hard.

“Hold water”

Stop the boat.

“Check it down”

Square the oars in the water to stop the boat.

“Let it run”

To stop rowing and put the handles of the oars to the gunwales out in front of the rower in such a manner that the oars are parallel to the water, yet not touching. This allows the boat to glide for a distance.

“On the square”

To row without turning the blades on the recovery.

“Weigh-enough or “Wain…’nuff”

To stop whatever the rower is doing, whether it be rowing or walking with the boat overhead.

“Power 10”

A call for rowers to do ten of their best, most powerful strokes. It’s a strategy used to pull ahead of a competitor.

“In 2…”

Most water commands are appended prior to the command-taking place after two strokes. For example “in 2, wain…’nuf.”