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COXSWAINS: A DYING BREED?

In the sound and fury coxing seems to have been forgotten

In spring 2016 the international rowing federation, FISA, made some broad-ranging proposals designed to enhance universality and gender equity within the sport. The changes promise a major shake-up to Olympic rowing as we know it, with lightweight events in particular in the spotlight. The reaction from major players in the world rowing scene was swift: from Olympic rowers Jérémie Azou, Julien Bahain and Thomas Baroukh, to Olympic Gold medal-winning World Rowing commentator Martin Cross, and former head coach of UCLA’s men rowing Erinn McMahan, everyone has an opinion – except for a strange silence on the potential impact on coxing.

The proposals have triggered much speculation. Xavier Dorfman, LM4- Olympic champion for France in 2000 and current coach of the Japanese rowing team, reported via Facebook just this month, “the announcements made by FISA president Jean-Christophe Rolland spell the end for the LM4-.” Rowing pundits, on the whole, agree with Dorfman; the dropping of the lightweight four looks the most likely outcome of the shake-up to Olympic rowing events. Much of the speculation on the matter revolves around lightweight rowing in general, the development of female rowing, how rowing should be organised at the Olympic Games… ,In the sound and fury coxing seems to have been forgotten.

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Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, Paralympic, college, club, ocean, and more.