Bosworth a history-maker
Kiwi coxswain Sam Bosworth is the first male to win a women’s World Cup rowing event.
The rowing world has fasttracked a new era this year, allowing coxswains of either gender at the front of the boat for any crew.
World Rowing introduced the edict in February, allowing Bosworth to cox the New Zealand women’s rowing eight – a first for New Zealand.
From Waipara in North Canterbury, Bosworth’s rowing dream had been to lead a national team.
When he started out, he pictured that being a men’s crew.
The 23-year-old began his quest for his Christ’s College school crew in 2010.
He first got in the women’s boat in Cambridge this year purely for training reasons and because New Zealand rowing were preparing for the gender neutral rules to be put in place.
After World Rowing gave the all-clear for a cox of any sex weighing a minimum of 55kg to front any rowing crew, male or female, Bosworth got the nod to lead the New Zealand women’s eight.
He spurred the team to a gold medal in Poznan at the World Cup II regatta in June, victory at the Henley Royal regatta and, just last week, a silver medal in Lucerne at World Cup III.
At 1.72m and 55 kgs, Bosworth has the ideal physique for the job, but it’s not just his size that makes him a quality cox.
As a coxswain you have to be a talker, you can’t be shy and need a belting voice. Bosworth ticks all three boxes.
He said talking to the women’s team is no different to bellowing instructions at a men’s crew – they both listen and they both want to win.
‘‘Personally, I don’t think it does [make a difference]. Women have to be more delicate and aware of their technique as they cannot just rely on power. In terms of boat dynamics however, it is no different.
‘‘The girls bring energy and intent to everything we do and are very responsive.
‘‘We talk about changes and make them. . . We have a great squad of girls so we also have a lot of fun which I think is important,’’ he said.
‘‘My goal was always to make the elite team regardless of sex.’’
Bosworth’s next milestone is to make the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. This week Bosworth and the rowing eight are training back at Lake Karapiro before leaving for the world championships in Florida in September.