The 75th WHoRR: Going Strong

Boating from the Furnivall Sculling Club pontoon, Crew 148 (Derby Rowing Club) and Crew 163 (University College, Oxford).

7 March 2023

By Tim Koch

Tim Koch is at the first Tideway Head of the year.

The first Women’s Head of the River Race for Eights run over the Thames Championship Course, Mortlake to Putney, started just one year after the men’s inaugural event of 1926. For the first few years of its existence, the WHoRR had only two or three entires and the race was run as a side-by-side event. However, by 1930, five entries necessitated a processional format. The 1939 – 45 War halted the race and the restart in 1950 saw a very slow increase in numbers, it took until 1977 for an entry of 27 boats. This century, entry numbers have been generally upward, rising from around 250 to around 300. The 2023 Women’s Head took place on 4 March with 306 boats and 2,448 rowers taking part.

Crew 98, Chesterton Rowing Club, go afloat at Hammersmith.
Auriol Kensington ‘A’ crosses to Surrey.
Weybridge Rowing Club ‘A’ approaching Hammersmith Bridge on the way to the start.
Passing Harrods thirty minutes before the start. 
Crew 1, Leander ‘A’, passing the Thames RC clubhouse, by then unchallengeable as the first crew to pass the finish line. 
Leander ‘A’ finished in a time of 18.38.07, nearly 8 seconds ahead of the next fastest crew and going Head.
Crew 4, Leander ‘B’, is pursued by Crew 3, Thames ‘A’, along the Putney Embankment. Leander won the Club Pennant and was placed 2nd (18.46.7). Thames was 6th (19.13.6 after they incurred a 10-second time penalty).
Oxford Brookes ‘A’ started 2 and finished 3 (18.55.0). They won the Senior and University Pennants.
University of London ‘A’ started and finished 5 (19.10.3).
Wycliffe’s Junior Women’s Eight was made up of scullers who started at 277 and finished 24 (20.04.1), 5 seconds behind the School/Junior Pennant winners, Headington School ‘A’. Picture: @WycliffeRowing.
Durham University Boat Club ‘B’ (32) and Upper Thames Rowing Club ‘A’ (33) pass London RC’s clubhouse.
Nottingham and Union Rowing Club (47) at Thames RC.
Crew 50, Curlew Rowing Club ‘A’, pass the Imperial College boathouse.
A crew of superstars in a Leander / Cambridge Uni /Tideway Scullers / Edinburgh Uni /Molesey composite started 51 and finished 4 (18.58.5).
The probable Cambridge University Women’s Blue Boat went off 54 and finished 9 (19.24.9). Crew 13, Oxford University Women’s Boat Club, did not start.
Marlow Rowing Club ‘C’ (70) and Oxford Brookes University Boat Club ‘E’ (67) pass Chas Newens Chandlery and Putney High School boathouse, a site that has housed three historic boatyards.
A panoramic view of Putney Embankment from Bishop’s Park in Fulham.
Malmö Roddklubb from Sweden passing Vesta RC, Ranelagh Sailing Club (once Phelps’s Unity Boathouse) and Westminster School Boathouse (once Clasper’s Boatbuilders).
Passing Barn Elms Boathouse, City of Bristol Rowing Club ‘A’ (113) are chased by Vesta Rowing Club ‘C’ (112). 
Auriol Kensington ‘A’ at the Mile Post.
Crew 164, St Cuthbert’s Society Boat Club, passes Harrods while Crew 69, Birmingham University Boat Club ‘A’ returns to their host club.
At Hammersmith Bridge, sixty percent of the race is over.
Gravesend Rowing Club (196), Trinity Hall Boat Club (201) and HSBC (195) shoot Hammersmith Bridge.
A view along Fulham Reach as the last boats approach Putney.
The Top Ten. All results are on the official website
Leander and friends.
The Pennant Winners.
Fulham Reach BC back home.

The race can still be viewed on YouTube and crew pictures are available from Ben Rodford and Jet Photographic

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