The 63rd Fuller’s Head of the River Fours takes place on the 4¼-mile Championship course from Mortlake to Putney on Sunday, 12 November, at 10:45 a.m., regatta press officer Daniel Spring writes in a press release.
Nearly 2,000 athletes in more than 480 boats from across the UK and Europe will compete in quads, coxed and coxless fours in the 2017 Fuller’s Head of the River Fours on 12 November.
Starting no. 1 in the Open Men’s Quads (M4X) are Leander Club, with the crew of Jack Beaumont, John Collins, Jonny Walton and Pete Lambert, who raced as the Great Britain M4X this season, winning silver at the World Championships. Starting no. 3 are Oxford Brookes University with a crew containing three members of the Great Britain lightweight team that raced at this year’s World Championships. Leander B (start no. 5) is also a crew of current Great Britain internationals. There is a strong Irish entry racing as Tideway Scullers (no. 6) with reigning lightweight World Champions Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan along with Olympic silver medallist Gary O’Donovan.
In the Open Women’s Quads (W4X) Leander Club (no. 112) have a crew full of World Championship medallists with Jess Leyden, Beth Bryan and Holly Nixon, who won bronze in the W4X joined by Vicky Thornley, who won silver in the W1X in Florida. Their main challengers will be the University of London (start no. 116) with a crew of senior and U23 Internationals, and a second Leander quad (start no. 118), which includes 2012 Olympic Champion Kat Copeland.
In the Men’s Coxless Fours (M4-) Leander again have a crew of senior internationals including World Championship bronze medallist Matt Rossiter. In the Women’s Open Coxless Fours (W4-), Molesey Boat Club (no. 267) lead off with a crew containing former internationals Ruth Whyman and Kate McKeown. Chasing Molesey are Leander Club (no. 268) with four members of the Great Britain W8 that finished fifth at the 2017 World Championships.
The Fullers Head of the River Fours also offers the first chance to see the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race squads go head-to-head over the Championship course. The Open Men’s Coxed Fours sees four Cambridge crews (racing as Goldie) take on three Oxford boats (racing as Isis). The top Isis crew (start no. 294) includes U.S. Olympian Anders Weiss. Starting three places behind Isis is the top Goldie boat with three U23 internationals on board. They will be chasing strong crews from the University of London and Leander Club, both of which contain members of the 2017 Great Britain senior team.
In the women’s coxed fours (W4+), the top Cambridge crew (start no. 409) includes 2015 W4X World Champion Olivia Coffey of the USA along with returning Blues Daphne Martschenko and Alice White. They will be chasing a strong Leander crew, which includes senior GB internationals Anastasia Chitty, Josephine Wratten and Rowan McKellar.
The Fuller’s Head of the River Fours, has always provided a great opportunity to see coming talents in the sport, as well as all the experienced international athletes competing for many of the UK’s top club, school and university – all of whom will be hoping to win one of the 20 pennants on offer, which for the first time this year includes U23 categories, and a place at the HOR4s prize giving ceremony at the Fuller’s brewery in Chiswick.
It can take crews between 17 and 30 minutes to get down the course depending on weather, fitness and skill. The organisers and competitors will be keeping their fingers crossed for good weather and fair racing conditions.
Spectating along the whole course is free, the action will last a couple of hours and there are plenty of good viewing points from where to watch. Stalls selling refreshments and rowing related goods will be located outside many of the local Tideway clubs, especially along Putney Embankment and near Hammersmith Bridge.
More details about the history of the race and a full start order are available on the event website at www.hor4s.org.uk
Fuller’s Brewery has now been associated with this event for 36 years, for which the committee and all those involved with the race, express their heartfelt thanks.
Please note that the start lists are subject to change as coaches can make ‘subs up’ until one hour before the race. Full crew lists, which are updated on a regular basis, are available on the event website at: www.hor4s.org.uk