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The Snowflake Regatta Catastrophe

(YouTube link)

Have you ever been to a rowing competition, er, regatta? I haven’t, either, but something tells me they usually go better than this. Last weekend, the Snowflake Regatta took place in Riverhead, New York. There were lots of novice rowers who didn’t know what to do when things went awry, and plenty of things went awry. Each incident was thoroughly coached from the sidelines by expert spectators. If you’re completely confused and want some explanation, here’s a rowing coach who explains the video as he sees it.  -via Viral Viral Videos

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I was at coxswain in high school, and at the handful of high school level competitions we went to I've never seen anything that bad. Although to be fair, I don't think any of the ones we went to were on a river that narrow, and some boats did veer a lot, but even the races close to the shore avoided the ground. For the the boat with a cox, the coxswain is fully responsible for what happens to the boat. The only mild issues I had was finding out the hard way where we could go outside of the channel markers to avoid normal boat traffic on the river we used to practice on, but a soft sandbar is easy to get out of. Also, the sculls, where each rower has two oars, there is usually no coxswain and the foremost rower is in charge and needs to keep looking over their back or use a mirror to see where they are going, and that can be considerably more difficult without some experience.
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UofM Crew. To say I was third string is to be polite.

1. Starters cannot see the finish line. Boats are dispatched on a schedule, sometimes before the previous race is finished.
2. Inexperienced coxswain. The rowers sit backwards. The cox steers the boat and gives commands.
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