Tuesday 9 October 2012

POSH kit

Got an email from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution offering stuff for sale (Christmas is coming) including these port'n'starboard gloves.
I'n not keen on gloves for rowing. They always slide just a little bit, disconnecting you from the oar and just slightly causing you to know even less about what you are doing than normal. And they can be sweaty and horrible. Better just to go through the pain of developing a full set of callouses.
But these gloves have another killer disadvantage for people who go boating backwards.....


Tillerman said...

So right is port adn left is starboard if you go boating backwards?

Chris Partridge said...

It can cause endless confusion for careless coxes. Ordering the crew to 'row hard on the left' just causes a lot of discussion - 'your left or ours?'
If you try 'row hard on port side' there is a discussion on which side is port, and having decided it is the left the discussion of 'your left or ours?' can begin.
So rowers tend to stick to 'stroke side' and 'bow side' which are unarguable.

Robbie Wightman said...


I am not sure that I agree that "stroke side" and "bow side" are unarguable. Most of the St Ayles skiffs are stroked with the oar on starboard. Since most turns are starboard turns this seems to give the better turning moment in a race. Since most of our rowers are new to the sport explaining to them that stroke side is the side that the bow rows on and bow side is the side that stroke rows on might be likely to put off straight away those who would otherwise give us a chance before concluding that we are all mad. In our club at least we use "port side" and "starboard side".

It strikes me that confusion would be avoided almost altogether by one simple adaptation..... get the cox to sit facing backwards too ;-)


Anonymous said...

Sorry Chris, Even British Rowing adopted port and starboard back in September 2011? See http://www.marqueesandpartytents.com/about_us.php
Another reason is that as all youngsters now start by sculling and then are only allowed to row when they are old enough, they have no idea what is stroke and bow side.
Port side remains port side whichever way one is facing

Chris Partridge said...

Port and Starboard, when 99 per cent of rowers never go to sea? If you are going to standardise, why not go for left and right?
Down here we have no truck with sichlike darn fulery and we will be sticking with bow and stroke.
So there.

Chris Partridge said...

PS uncertain what you are trying to say with your link. Are you having a party?

Geoff said...

Quite right. Wrong paste !
This is the one.