Coxswain Instructions

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  • You are responsible to launch in time for your race. Recommendation is 30-45 minutes.
  • The last 500 meters of the race course runs on the WEST side of the inlet and follows a left hand rule in that area. There are four red buoys that separate the race lanes at the 1000m mark, 1500m mark and finish line.
  • Launch with bows pointed NORTH toward the lake. After shoving, proceed to the warm-up area staying to your RIGHT. There is a 500 meter stretch where traffic is tight.  Proceed past the finish line and warm-up in a counter clockwise pattern being sure to stay clear of the finish line of the race course.  No crews should row out on to the lake. When returning to boathouse bay, keep the race course on your right and a lane for outgoing traffic on your left.  No hard strokes around the finish line or in boathouse bay. Wait in the bay until you are clear to go down.  There will be a marshal to direct you in the bay.  Please pay close attention at the coxswains meeting to be sure that you know the race before you and when you can proceed down the channel to the starting line.
  • TWO BOAT RACES (Ithaca Duals): if a two boat race precedes your own, you may row to the starting line in lane 1.  Please stop and hold your position when races are going by.
  • THREE BOAT RACES (Triangular Races): are run in pairs each ½ hour. Wait until the second race in the pairing comes out you may row to the starting line in Lanes 1,2 or 3.
  • Be extremely careful of the bridge abutments and stake boats on the way to the starting line.
  • There is 500 meters of water below the starting line for some starts and for races to cue up. 


  • There will be stake boats in all racing lanes.
  • Row through the stake boats and back to get your stern on to the stake boats.  Be careful that you do not row too far before starting to back up.  This is especially important if there is a SOUTH (tail) wind.
  • You may back to either side of the stake boat, unless the referee gives you specific instructions to do otherwise.
  • Once you lock on to the stake boat keep you point by sculling the boat around.  This will move the bow side to side without pulling you off the stake boat.
  • The referees will review the starting commands at the coxswain meeting.


  • There are four red buoys at the 1000, 1500 and 2000 meter marks. All boats go between two buoys.  At no time should a coxswain go between a buoy and shore.
  • The first set of bridges (900 meters) has two abutments that form three lanes.  Lane one is on the WEST, lane 2 in the center and Lane 3 on the EAST. (the lake is to the NORTH)
  • In a two boat race, only lanes 2 and 3 will be used.
  • Coming out of the bridges is a turn toward PORT. This is marked by four red buoys.
  • The next bridge  (1250 meters) has only one abutment dividing lanes 1 and 2.  Crews racing in 2 and 3 share the large arch of the bridge.
  • At the 1500 meter mark there is a small turn toward starboard.  This is marked by four red buoys. A helpful mark here is the overhead wire.  The red ball on the wire is the center of lane 2.
  • It is a straight shot to the finish line try to spot the four red buoys there and go straight.  The shoreline is not straight during the last 500 meters.
  • A flag on WEST shore (off port) will mark the finish: 1st place the flag will go down. 2nd place the flag will go up. 3rd place the flag will go down.


  • Starting Line: Two white poles, stake boats.  There is a brown house on the WEST shore.
  • 250m: White pole on the EAST (starboard shore).
  • 500m: White pole on the EAST shore.
  • 750m: White pole on East shore just after cross channel.
  • 900m: First bridge
  • 1000m: Turn to port. White poles on both shores, the buoys are just before the1000m mark.
  • 1250m: 2nd bridge
  • 1500m: White pole on EAST shore, end of Inlet Island. Slight turn to starboard.
  • Finish Line: Red and White flag on WEST shore.


  • After finishing your race, cool down counterclockwise in the same area that crews are warming up.
  • Return to the docks in the same traffic pattern that you would returning to boathouse bay (see above)
  • Launching crews have priority over landing crews
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