Basic terminology in Traditional Boat Race

traditional boat race

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Novice paddlers should gain a better understanding of traditional boat racing by learning more about the sport from these terms. “All Down” command - Paddlers must stop paddling and rest with paddles on their laps.

“All-up” command - Paddlers must pause in the catch position.

“Attention, please” command - This is announced  to prepare crews for departure. The start gun will follow in approximately 3-5 seconds.

Back Paddling - This is a stroke used to move the boat in a backwards motion.

Check - This means stopping the boat’s momentum or movement.

Drummer - This person sits in the bow and sets a crew’s timing by rhythmically pounding a drum.

Finish - A command made in the last leg of the race to increase power and stroke rate.

Hitting the catch - To drive the paddle forcefully into the water at maximum arm length.

“Let it run” command - A command for paddlers to stop paddling and let the boat coast with all blades above the water level.

Pull - When paddler pulls the paddle in a backwards motion parallel to the boat to propel the boat forward.

Reach - The forward movement of the arm to maximise the stroke length before the paddle enters the water.

“Ready, Ready” command - A command used to signal to paddlers to ready their paddles for the start of the race.

Recovery - When  the paddle moves to the start of a stroke after exiting the water from a previous stroke.

Rushing - A term used to describe the situation when a paddler’s timing is ahead of and out of sync with the rest of the crew.

Steersperson - The person responsible for steering and giving crew commands, who is seated at the stern of the boat.

Stroke - Refers to one cycle of the paddling motion. It also refers to the section of paddlers in the front of the boat who set the pace for team.

Stroke rate - The pace or number of times the paddle is pulled per minute.

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