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Women's Eights Head of the River Race

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Title: Women's Eights Head of the River Race  
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Subject: Rowing (sport), Putney Town Rowing Club, Jessica Eddie, University of Birmingham Boat Club, Leeds University Boat Club
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Women's Eights Head of the River Race

Women's Eights Head of the River Race
Frequency Annual
Location(s) Championship Course, River Thames in London, England
Years active 1927-Present
Previous event 22 March 2014
Next event March 2015
Participants 300 crews
Championship Course on a flood tide (e.g. for the Boat Race). The Start and Finish are reversed when racing on an ebb tide. "Middlesex" and "Surrey" denote banks of the Thames Tideway, not the actual English counties

The Women's Eights Head of the River Race (WEHoRR) is a processional rowing race held annually on the Tideway of the River Thames in London on the 4 14-mile (6.8 km) Championship Course from Mortlake to Putney.

A mirror of the Eights Head of the River for male crews, it is held a fortnight earlier when the tides are similar. It is raced on the outgoing tide and starting around one hour after high tide in order to maximise advantage from the tidal flow.

Around 300 crews of women (with the occasional male coxswain) compete for over a dozen trophies and pennants.[1] There are categories for beginners, elite and veteran rowers.


The race was first held in 1927 following the first running of the men's version in 1926. At first it was simply a match between Ace and Weybridge LARC. This race was run as a side-by-side race, with Weybridge winning in a boat borrowed from Thames Rowing Club. The second year featured the same two crews, and the same result. In 1929, for the third race, there was the addition of Alpha, having formed in a split from Ace in 1927. Alpha won this running of the race.

The first running of the race in processional format was in 1930, as the entries had risen to five, making it impossible to run fairly in the side-by-side format on the tidal river. Furnivall Sculling Club (then an all women's club) won this first processional version of the race. It then continued in similar format annually until the outbreak of war in 1939.

The event restarted in 1950, with a shortened course of 2 miles, as it was felt that the effects of the war years and food rationing made the full course too hard. Entries grew from the original five to twelve by the mid 50s, and then declined to only six by the mid 60s. The lack of sectional boats meant that it was extremely difficult to transport boats from further afield, so the event was largely confined to the London clubs.

In the period from the 80s onwards with entries rising ten-fold from 27 in 1977 to 300 in 2009.[2] International crews have been visiting London to compete and entries have come from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and USA.


Award Year Time Crew
Head 2014 17:42.21 Army RC/Gloucester RC/Imperial College BC/London RC/Minerva-Bath RC/Oxford Brookes University BC/Tees RC
Club 2000 18:08.35 Marlow RC
Overseas 2014 18:20.55 Aviron Grenoble/C Aviron Nante/ Gerardmer AS Rowing/Lagny SN/Societe d'Encouragement du Sport Nautique (FRA)
Senior 2014 18:39.66 Imperial College A
Intermediate 1 2011 18:53.69 Reading University BC A
Provincial Club 2013 18:57.54 Nottingham RC A
Intermediate 2 2007 18:59.76 Imperial Col/Jesus College (Cam)/London RC/Wallingford/Westminster
University 2014 19:02.36 Newcastle University BC A
Masters 2014 19:02.42 Clydesdale ARC/Molesey BC/Leander Club/Marlow RC/Tideway Scullers School/Thames RC [raw time]
Intermediate 3 2013 19:07.92 University of London BC A
School/Junior 2013 19:17.12 Headington School Oxford BC
Novice Club 2014 19:48.19 Henley RC C
Novice Academic 2014 20:01.84 Newcastle University BC C

Past winners

Year Crew Time
2014 Army RC/Gloucester RC/Imperial College BC/London RC/Minerva-Bath RC/Oxford Brookes University BC/Tees RC 17:42.21
2013 Imperial College BC A 18:16.57
2012 Thames Rowing Club A 20:10.92
2011 Leander Club 18:06.57[4]
2010 Gloucester / Imperial College / Marlow / Reading University / Thames / University of London 18:10.67[5]
2009 London / Hollandia / Thames / Marlow / University of London 18:28.27[6]

See also


  1. ^ "WEHoRR Website". Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Women's Head PrizegivingBritish Rowing
  3. ^
  4. ^ Women's Head of the River Race 2011 results
  5. ^ Women's Head of the River Race 2010 results
  6. ^ Women's Head of the River Race 2009 results

External links

  • Women's Eights Head of the River Race web site
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