Proficiency Requirements


Be able to swim at least 100m in rowing clothing or wear a lifejacket at all times when out on the water;

Know the names of all the parts of the boat and different boat types;

Understand seat positions within the crew and groups of seats, e.g. bow side;

Understand how the tides work and how the stream and current effect rowing speeds and manoeuvres;

Understand that the coxswain is in charge and always listen to and obey his commands;

Understand coxing commands;

Understand the correct procedure in the case of a boat becoming damaged or capsizing;

Know how to set up and launch a boat safely, including fitting the rowlocks and bung;

Be able to row effectively on both sides and scull, keeping in time with your crew;

Be able to hold water, back down, and spin the boat;

Be able to perform an emergency stop;

Be able to ship your oar when asked by the cox;

Be able to hold the boat steady in rough conditions by holding the oar blade flat on the water;

Understand the rhythm of rowing and how to let the boat run between strokes;

Be able to row with feathering;

Be able to complete a racing start;

When sculling, be able to steer the boat with your oars and look ahead of you while you row;

Be able to change positions within the boat while out on the water safely and efficiently;

Always help to clean boats and put equipment away properly after an outing;

Read the club constitution and agree to adhere to it.


Already be certified for Gig rowing proficiency;

Wear appropriate clothes including a life jacket whenever required;

Understand the rules for navigation and circulation patterns – study the maps at the club house.

When visiting unfamiliar waters study the local rules and hazards beforehand;

Know how to make a safety assessment before or during an outing by identifying risk factors correctly and decide how to proceed accordingly;

Check that the boat has been assembled correctly before disembarking: rowlocks, bung, rudder, footplates;

Take charge of the crew while launching the boat;

Be able to manoeuvre a boat in and out of a slipway or beach or, taking full account of currents and wind, and asking different members of the crew to row;

Give commands in appropriate manner to control stopping and starting, changes of rate and pressure and training drills;

Take responsibility for the position of the crew on the water, able to steer accurately to avoid obstacles and buoys;

Command the crew to spin or back down in difficult conditions safely and in an appropriate area;

Keep a clear view of the water ahead, where necessary taking a slightly meandering course for a better all round view, looking out for hazards and other boats;

Take charge in an emergency, e.g. collision, capsize or crew illness, and issue appropriate instructions to the crew;

Know to give way to sail boats, judge their likely positions, and keep clear of other vessels;

Give loud and clear warnings to the pilots of other vessels where necessary;

Know how to find deep channels, marked out by buoys, and how to avoid sandbanks;

Know how to dislodge a Gig when it runs aground safely and effectively;

Know how to tie up to spars or mooring hoops with recognised knots e.g. bowline, round turn two half hitches;

Be able to identify common mistakes in the crew, such as bad timing, or rushing the stroke.

Be responsible for getting your boat safely home in good time based on your knowledge of how the tides work and how the wind and tide affect rowing speeds;