Challenging conditions greeted 480 crews from across the UK and Europe
Challenging conditions greeted 480 crews from across the UK and Europe, that lined up on the Thames at Chiswick to take part in the 54th Fuller’s Head of the River Fours on Saturday (8th November) morning.
The race, which is one of the largest one day rowing events in the world, takes place over the famous four and a quarter mile Championship course (the boat race course in reverse) on an out-going tide. Rowing is an outdoor sport, and rain and a strong southerly wind on the day provided a reminder that Thames Tideway can be unforgiving venue for ill-prepared crews.
Starting in pole position was a crew of internationals from the Tideway Scullers School who successfully defended their Elite quadruple sculls title for the second year running.
Olympians Iztok Cop of Slovenia, New Zealand's Mahe Drysdale and Alan Campbell of Team GB were joined by ex-GB international Tom Gale, the club's head coach. They fought off a strong challenge from a crew of under-23 internationals from Reading University and a quad from Leander Club in Henley, to win by nine seconds .
Another crew of internationals representing Tideway Scullers also collected the top women’s pennant for the first time.
Meanwhile Cambridge University took full advantage of the race to secure an early upper hand over boat race rivals Oxford, with an impressive win in the Elite Coxless Fours event and beating Olympic Champion Andy Triggs-Hodge’s Molesey Boat Club crew into second place.
A crew from Barnes Bridge Ladies Rowing Club, successfully defended their 2007 win in women's Senior 2 coxless fours.
London Rowing Club won the Women's Elite lightweight quad event (this year is the first time lightweight categories have been included)
Westminster School, who row out of Putney, produced the performance of the day when their Junior quad not only won their event but came an impressive 6th place overall - considerably faster than many of the senior crews.
'Local' crews that won their events are listed below:
- TIDEWAY SCULLERS I Elite 4x- 18:35.65 CHISWICK
- WESTMINSTER SCH Junior 4x- 19:21.90 PUTNEY
- UNIV OF LONDON BC / TYRIAN Senior 2 4x- 19:33.88 CHISWICK
- MOLESEY BC VI Senior 1 4- 19:45.02 MOLESEY
- TIDEWAY SCULLERS VIII Women's Elite 4x- 20:17.98 CHISWICK
- LONDON RC IX Women's Elite Lwt 4x- 20:39.58 PUTNEY
- BARNES BRIDGE LADIES I Women's Senior 2 4- 21:49.75 BARNES
- THAMES RC XIII Women's Senior 2 4+ 22:23.31 PUTNEY
4x = quadruple scull
4+ = coxed four
4- = coxless four
Full results and crew name lists are available on the event website at:
November 11, 2008