Adrian Ellison, Olympic coxswain, on Redgrave, Cross, the '84 Olympics and how to be a great cox


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By Patricia Carswell. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

S2 Ep.1 Welcome back to Girl on the River for Season 2 – it’s so good to be back!

I’m absolutely thrilled to bring you the first episode in my new season – an interview with Adrian Ellison, who coxed the 4+ to a gold medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles (the first of five gold medals for crew member Steve Redgrave).

Adrian is a brilliant fount of knowledge, and what he doesn’t know about coxing isn’t worth knowing. We had a tremendous chat (the uncut version of which is available to Girl on the River patrons – you can sign up for the Girl Squad at

Here’s what we talked about:

  • Adrian’s route into coxing and how he ended up in GB Rowing Team
  • What a coxed pair is like
  • The best crew Adrian ever coxed (it might not be the one you’d expect)
  • Coxing a bowloader
  • Being coached as a cox
  • The 1984 Olympics 4+ - how it was put together and what the dynamics were
  • Getting the most out of a crew during a race
  • The decision to retire from the GB Rowing Team
  • Weight loss and the effects on Adrian’s health
  • Why the coxswain’s weight makes little difference to boat speed except at the very highest level
  • What makes a good cox
  • Adrian’s style of coxing
  • Has Adrian’s coxing improved since being on the GB Rowing Team?
  • Whether international teams should consider using older coxes
  • How to get better at coxing
  • Mistakes Adrian has made
  • What to do when a crew gets carried away in a race
  • How to handle a sassy crew
  • Lessons from Zoom Ergos and the quest for the perfect stroke

If you fancy joining one of Adrian’s Zoom Ergos sessions you can sign up at

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