Yes and yes. Most races that we compete in use what is called sweep rowing. In sweep rowing, each rower has one oar. Therefore there are port and starboard sweep rowers, depending on which side of the boat the oar is on. There is also sculling, which consists of each rower using two oars, one on each side. Additionally most larger boats have a coxswain, or cox for short, which is not a rower. The coxswain steers the boat, gives calls to provide uniformity, technique and motivation, and will work with coaches to help run practices. Regardless of men’s or women’s boats, coxswains can be either male or female.

The primary focus of our team is Olympic, or flatwater rowing. This is rowing in relatively calm and protected waters, such as bays, harbors, or lakes. There is another variant referred to as coastal rowing, which is instead in the rougher waters of the ocean. Coastal rowing shells are built wider than typical rowing shells in order to be more stable for use in the ocean.

As far as boats, we row these:

Single: one rower, sculling. Can be coastal.

Double: two rowers, sculling. Can be coastal. Some coastal races may also include a mixed gender category for doubles.

Pair: two rowers, sweeping.

Quad: possibly a cox, four rowers, sculling. Can be coastal.

Four: cox, four rowers, sweeping. Can be coastal.

Eight: cox, eight rowers, sweeping.

Due to their size, eights are the heaviest, most stable, and fastest racing shells. They are often seen as the primary event.