Athletes are identified by their position in the boat. The athlete sitting in the bow, the part of the boat that crosses the finish line first, is the bow seat or No. 1 seat. The person in front of the bow is No. 2, then No. 3 and so on. The rower closest to the stern that crosses the finish line last is known as the stroke. The stroke of the boat must be a strong rower with excellent technique, as they are the person who sets the rhythm and speed of the boat for the rest of the rowers.
In addition to the rowers, there is another position in the boat: the coxswain, referred to as “the cox” by other members of the team. The cox is typically a smaller person who steers the boat and calls drills and timing for the rowers during practices and competitions.
SOURCE : “http://www.usrowing.org/eleven-rowing-insights/”