You don’t need me to tell you what an important figure in your life your cox is. It takes a special kind of pint-sized marvel to brave the elements in blistering heat or freezing cold, giving orders to a bunch of giants who could crush them with a little finger, to say nothing of making sure the precious boat gets safely from rack to water and back again without so much as a scratch. So what better time to acknowledge the awesomeness of your coxswain by showering them with gifts. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Girl on the River Christmas Gift Guide for Coxes
- Coach’s evil minion – cox’s travel mug – QuipsandGrins (Etsy), £17.96
So, look. I think this is funny. You think this is funny. Whether you’re going to risk finding out whether your cox finds it funny is entirely up to you. I take no responsibility for their reaction. Either way, it’ll keep their coffee warm, and that’s important, right?
2. Chilkat waterproof boots – North Face, from £95
A warm, dry cox is a happy cox, and a happy cox is … well, let’s just say a happy cox is best for everybody’s welfare. These excellent, waterproof boots are the business. Great grip, warm, solid and, importantly, not wellies. They come in different designs and are available for both men and women, starting at a teeny, cox-sized 3 for women and 6 for men.
3. Port and starboard wrist bands – Rock the Boat, £3
Brilliant stocking filler. It’s high time your coxswain got to know which is which. We’ve got away with not knowing for years, but I’ve noticed umpires getting a bit more pernickety about it lately. Some of my shipmates were tested on this at boat check this summer, and if the umpire asks your cox to go to starboard when you’re marshalling, you really, really want to be sure they don’t go to port (which is, erm, right, or left, or….). Make sure they never get it wrong again. Just, you know, make sure they put them on the right wrist…
4. Chattercox coaching session – Chattercox, from £30
Short of being beamed up to Caversham, this is as good as it gets for anyone wanting to improve their coxing. Supercoxes Zoe de Toledo and Kate Apfelbaum have teamed up to offer a range of coaching services, from analysing a recording of your coxing calls to club visits and *gasp* one-to-one coxing sessions. Pure coxing gold. And the prices are waaaay more reasonable than you might think. Come ON, what are you waiting for?
5. Queen B Kate base layer – Queen B Athletics, $48
You probably know by now that I think the world of the Queen B kit, but even by their ridiculously high standards they’ve excelled themselves here. It’s hard to get across to you how deliciously warm and gorgeous this top is. And how dreamily soft the inside of it is. Suffice to say that when I wore it the other day I was so warm and comfortable that I couldn’t bring myself to take it off to go out for the evening. It’s perfect for layering up in the winter and it doesn’t ruck up. My advice is if you can’t choose between the white with navy trim and the black with coral trim, buy both. You’ll make a friend for life.
With this little lot you’ll earn yourself a year’s worth of love and compassion, though if you’re still rushing the slide I can’t promise your teeny treasure won’t pick you up on it. More to come, for juniors and women. Ho, ho, ho.