Head of the River Race 2018: Reports and Videos

Both the men and women entered (We)HoRR this year, and with no cancellations due to bad weather, both crews were able to get out and race. The women placed 146th with a time of 22:29.4, and the men came in at 210th with 20:48.5. Footage from spectators is located here.


Cox – Jack Yates

Stroke – Philippa Thornton

7 – Sarah Edwards

6 – Maddie Burrell

5 – Annie Ault

4 – Sophie Clark

3 – Harriet Thomas

2 – Ellie Van Vogt

Bow – Grace Davis

As the end of term approached, anticipation grew in W1 for the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race, the largest women’s rowing race in the world. Friday night we met to plan strategy – through the medium of memes – and when we met early Saturday morning we were ready to take on the Tideway and once again prove the Isis Chopper wrong.

After arriving in London and being reunited with our boat, we had time for a cuddle with Jim the boatman’s dog and an update on the Instagram story before boating. As we queued for the start line, bow pair taking many taps as we moved up gradually, we spotted racing crews as they went past, waiting for our time to come. Eventually the time came for us to spin, and we paddled up towards Chiswick Bridge.

Winding up the rate to build boat speed at the start, we settled onto the solid rate 32 rhythm we have come to know well. Before long, Jack called a length to the York Uni boat. We pushed on and soon we had overtaken them, now setting our sights on Chester Uni. After overtaking once again we heard the encouraging cheers from the bridge and bank at Hammersmith, and put the power down for the last section of the race. As the finish line was coming into sight we were gaining overlap on another crew. Giving everything we had, determined to finish with nothing left in the tank, we reached the line first and were relieved to hear the call to wind it down.

Tired but pleased we spun and rowed the whole course back, with Jack playing Chicken Fried and Run the World down the microphone. Finishing 146th at a time of 22 min and 29 seconds is a result we can be proud of. A great send off for the finalists in the boat and a solid platform for next term’s W1, we look forward to seeing successes to come!


Cox: Ettie Caverly
Stroke: Danny de Rozairo

7: Harry Connor
6: Hamish Streeter
5: Jack Waterman
4: Freddie von Kaufmann
3: Maciej Bugala
2: Patrick Austin

Bow: James Parr

The partial cancellation of Torpids meant the Head of the River Race took on extra importance in making all the hard work we put in over the term worth it. After arriving at Furnivall Sculling Club in the shadow of Hammersmith Bridge at 8am, we rigged the boat, warmed up and waited a long time for some toilets. With only our strokeman Danny having any experience on the tideway before, we approached the 6.8km course with trepidation, questioning whether we could handle the conditions or even last the distance.

Fortunately for us, the rowing gods were merciful and the Tideway was reasonably flat. From Furnivall we paddled the few km upriver to our marshalling position on the Surrey Side, interspersing some higher rate pieces to get used to the unfamiliar surroundings. Being the 184th boat to start, we had some time to kill bobbing around near Mortlake Brewery which we mostly spent ogling the likes of Brookes and Leander as they glided past. Inevitably the long wait led to certain bladder problems, some of which were solved (that is as far as I will go). An hour and a half or so after boating we span and made our way underneath Chiswick Bridge to start.

We went off well, hitting rate 32 early and settling down to a good rhythm. The first few kilometres were fairly uneventful, with us holding the gap to the pursuing Hull University. Despite being a Tideway novice, Ettie steered an accomplished line past Chiswick Eyot and around the bend however we started to get a bit scrappy as we went past halfway. Coming underneath Hammersmith Bridge to the shouts of “Yeah Hertford” Ettie called 10 on the legs to which helped us get back to a smoother rhythm. Over the next kilometre we stayed long and were getting a good amount of cover. Past Craven Cottage, our lack of head race specific training started to show as we began to flag with the distance. Despite this, we dug deep and found something extra to finish off the race and our term with our heads held high, crossing the line in a time of 20:48.

After paddling back and trailering the boat, the boys went for a well deserved post race Spoons before heading their separate ways, whether that be home or back to Oxford. It has been a cracking term of rowing and it has been a pleasure training and racing in M1. We have really grown as a crew and everyone has worked their glutes off (in more ways than one). We will now have a (short) break before going again over the vac for what is shaping up to be a very promising Eights campaign. See you there!

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