Previously: Getting to the starting line || Steering through the bridges || Landmarks along the course || Steering around the turns || Race plans || My general race plan || Yaz Farooq’s coxswain clinic
Since this was my first time racing HOCR and my crew had some very specific things they wanted to hear during the race, I figured it’d be better safe than sorry to just write it down so I could glance at it if necessary. In hindsight I definitely psyched myself out and wrote down way too much stuff but it didn’t take me any effort to glance at it during the race so it wasn’t something that concerned me. If you’re not an experienced coxswain (and even if you are…) I don’t recommend writing down this much – a quarter of this would suffice – because I can easily see people becoming reliant on it and getting distracted.
So, what’s on there? The one to the left of my cox box had miscellaneous calls that related to specific things we’d been working on during practice, the one below my cox box had crew-specific calls, and the one to the left had my actual “plan” that detailed where I wanted to take power bursts along the course and what each one was for.
During the race I think I only glanced down at it maybe … four or five times max, and that was usually as we were entering or exiting a congested area. I had a way better grip on the race plan and calls than I gave myself credit for as I was making this, which is probably what led to me overcompensating a bit, but I still think it’s a worthwhile thing to do if you’re not confident in remembering the race plan or there’s a couple calls that you really want to make sure you incorporate. Just don’t go overboard and plaster your entire seat with Post-its … one will get the job done.