Hello future (and current) Valencians!

If you’ve found yourself on this page wondering what on earth being a cox involves, allow me to explain. A cox (or coxswain) is the brain, eyes, ears and mouth of a rowing boat: the person who directs, supports, motivates and safeguards the rowers during their regular training outings and during races. It’s a sporting experience like no other, and there’s a million and one things you’ll get out of it – friends, fame, an outlet for your internalised rage, or just access to PCBC stash!

We know it can be daunting taking on a role with responsibility like this, especially as a fresher. There’s plenty of support and advice on offer from our team of coaches and senior coxes, and I’ll be on hand throughout the year to guide you through it all.

If you’re thinking of getting involved or have any questions – big or small – feel free to get in touch by emailing coxing@pembrokecollegeboatclub.com

See you on the water!

Rhys King

Coxing Representative 2022 - 2023

You’ll get to spend hours out in the fresh air learning a unique skill, and it’s wonderful for confidence building, alongside developing your leadership, decision making and communication skills. Besides, who doesn’t love a good shout every now and then?

Being a cox also means being an integral part of a tight-knit team. If, like me, you’re somebody who didn’t get on with team sports in school, maybe this is the opportunity for you to find your strength. – Rhys

So fun! If you want it to, rowing can become a really big part of your life. This leads to so many close friendships and good memories made.

Being part of the PCBC comunity is one of the best parts of rowing! We have so many socials and there is so much more to rowing than just the sport itself. Also PCBC is a club that sees lots of success on the river so it’s really satisfiying to see all your hard work pay off! – Fraser

No prior knoledge or experience is required!

Most people who row/cox at PCBC also learned here. The most important thing is to be excited to try it out and to want to improve.

Coxing calls (the instructions a cox gives to the crew) are based around rowing terms, but there is no expectation for a novice cox to know these terms before coming to PCBC, although if you’d like a head start, head to our rowing terminology page!

Initially you are put in a boat with senior rowers who can help you get started. The first few sessions will be focused on steering and making basic calls. Coxes also give basic instuctions like telling rowers when they have to start and stop rowing, or telling one side of the boat to push harder.

Once you have learnt the basics with experienced rowers you will be put in a boat with novice rowers and you will most likely stay in that boat for the rest of the term. If you have just started at Pembroke, being in a set novice crew is a great way to make close friends that will stick with you for the rest of your time at university.

As you get more experienced and learn more about rowing, you will start to act as a coach for your rowers. There is nothing more satisfying than making a technical call and seeing the change in the quality of rowing and the speed of the boat. Once you get really experienced, you can even give technical feedback on rowing through the boat by feel – this is when you are able to feel how the boat is moving just by feeling the boat movements through your seat!

Coxing is open to absolutely everybody – regardless of your experience, height, weight or anything else!

Two of our top coxes are over six foot; what matters is your attitude.


But don’t worry, everyone calls them a cox!