WHoRR 2014 – some views from Hammersmith

Going to the start.

Tim Koch writes:

A press release issued by the organisers before the 2014 Women’s Head of the River Race started:

On Saturday 15th March at 3:30pm, the 74th Women’s Head will take place from Mortlake to Putney. With the wettest winter the UK has experienced since records began, many rowers have had their training disrupted and head races have been cancelled across the country. In recent weeks, the stream conditions on the Tideway have also been affected by the large volume of water from upriver. Providing the weather is favourable on race day, the stream should make for some very quick times and potentially allow course records to be broken.

Well, the weather was favourable, the stream did make for some very quick times and seven course records were broken including the Head time which was 17.42.21. The full results for the 291 crews are on the event website. Below are some images from around Hammersmith Bridge, the point at which sixty per cent of the race is done. Any half decent crew can get there in a respectable time, but only those who have trained hard can really make a race of it from Hammersmith to the finish.

The first boats through Hammersmith Bridge were crews 1, 2 and 3 (Imperial ‘A’, Vesta ‘A’ and Cus Milano, Italy). Unfortunately for them this was not their finish position.

Thames RC ‘C’ from the downstream side of Hammersmith Bridge.

Viewed from the Surrey bank, the crew that started 53 and finished 5th, a composite of Bath University BC / Gloucester RC / Hartpury RC / Hollingworth Lake RC / Northwich RC / Oxford Brookes University BC / Tees RC / University of West England RC.

Supporters, critics and armchair coaches.

Ruderclub Schaffhausen from Switzerland.

When will it be our turn?

Burway RC lead Leicester RC ‘A’ upstream of Hammersmith Bridge. The building opposite with the ramp and pontoon is the headquarters of British Rowing.

Wallingford RC ‘B’ approach Hammersmith.

From the Middlesex bank on the upstream side.

Avon County seen through the ironwork of Hammersmith Bridge.

The long, painful and seemingly endless stretch from Harrods to the finish at Putney.

The rescheduled Schools’ Head of the River Race is on Wednesday, 26 March at 13.30.

The Head of the River Race is on Saturday, 29 March at 14.15.

The Veterans’ Head of the River Race is on Sunday, 30 March at 10.30.

Photography © Tim Koch

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