- Strokes and second seat are selected by Coach or Stroke Trainer. Once warm up is finished Strokes move towards nominated boat.
- Strokes to sit on the front of the boat as Sweep takes up their position at the back. Nobody is to get on the boat until Sweep is ready.
- Paddlers are then asked to start loading into the boat and sit starting from back seat.
- Strokes must be aware that during loading the boat will need to be moved out further into the water. The Sweep may ask for this to be done; or the Strokes may advice the Sweep that the boat needs to be moved. For safety of Sweep and crew that have boarded already or in the process: notify them that boat is going to be moved and with help of crew that is still on shore move boat gently out into the water. This may need to be done several times during loading.
- Strokes are the last to sit in their position ready for Sweep.
- Counting crew starts at the front with the Stroke on the left side, then right and this continues throughout till Sweep counts them self and then calls the number of people on board the boat.
- Sweep will then give the call to back-paddle. Crew need to keep focus on Strokes to maintain correct timing throughout the training session.
- As Sweep moves the boat up to the position for beginning training session they will check the balance. They will ask the Strokes if the balance is okay and only Strokes reply. If the boat is unbalance the Sweep will correct this by moving couple of paddlers until it is correct.
- The sessions is then in the hands of the Coach. The Sweep takes directions from the Coach as to what is required for the each set in the session. The Sweep will repeat directions to their crews and ensure that the Strokes fully understand the set. If strokes are uncertain of the directions lead stroke to put their hand up so that the sweep knows something needs to be clarified (this should cut down on multiple voices asking questions). This is the same procedure should the strokes have trouble with boat balance, timing, shallow water, etc
- At all times the Crew will remain silent so that instructions can be heard by everyone.
If during the sessions the Strokes cannot hear the Sweep’s voice usually due to the wind, then the Sweep will select a paddler in the middle of the boat to relay instructions, rates and speed. If the Coach wants sets whereby pods or half boat have to do sets of e.g. 30 strokes each a counter for each pod or half will be selected.
- At the end of the session the Strokes are the first to alight from the boat. Once again they take up the position on the front of the boat to help stabilise as crew alights from the boat.
- As the boat becomes lighter Strokes notify Sweep and paddlers still on board before the boat is moved further into shore. This may occur several times during off loading. Strokes remain at the front of the boat until Sweep, who is last person on the boat, gets off.
Race Day Procedure
- When lining up for a race Strokes are at the back.
- Boat handlers usual ask for Drummer and Strokes to come down and hold the boat.
- As in training sessions the Sweep is first on board, then paddlers move to allocated to seat starting from the back.
- Sweep may check balance; may ask some to move; may ask Drummer to sit to one side.
- All Crew remain silent listening to Sweeps calls; they will check that Strokes can hear their voice.
- Crew looks forward to Strokes for timing throughout the race.
- For all races Stroke on the right side is the lead stroke.
- At the finish Strokes and Drummer stabilize boat for Crew to alight with Sweep being the last person off the boat.