To take a stroke: to take a bout with a woman.
the captain of a crew, the man who sets the pace, and is generally the leading spirit in the boat. The coxswain usually looks after University men when they are in training, so that they may not fall into excesses, the stroke  having quite enough to do to attend to his own training. Of late years University crews have placed themselves under the guidance and tuition of “coaches,” generally ex-University men of great ability and experience.