People need to see where they are going; racing-shell rowers and hockey’s defensive players are about the only ones that don’t. For the rest of us rowers, there are times and places where being able to see the path ahead is really certainly useful.Rowing in tightly constrained water or in the midst of boat traffic is challenging unless there is a cox steering the boat. So, rowers in Venice’s narrow canals and in Louisiana’s winding creeks and bayous stand and row facing forward, while lobstermen in Maine who work around rocks and ledges and in narrow coves and inlets set up their peapods or double-enders to be rowed facing forward.

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