Race Results

The Fullerís Head of the River Fours (HOR4s) first took place in 1955, when 30 crews competed. In 2008, 2427 people in 548 crews descended on the river Thames for the 54th race, over the famous 4 ľ mile championship course between Chiswick Bridge and Putney.

Men's 1st IV

Finish position - 254th in a time of 21:39.54

After going out of Uni fours in the second round we were determined that this crew's last race would be a good one. We arrived in London the night before the race having conquered difficulties with blades, cars, sponges and jelly babies. After a short night on the floor of the Tideway Sculler's School's club room, we were up bright and early to rig our borrowed boat and get on the water for what would be the first taste of tideway rowing for some of us. The weather forecast had looked very threatening a few days before and, although conditions were not quite as bad as anticipated, we still hit enough rough water to decide that tape was going to be required on the riggers. After coming off the water from our early outing and sorting out our rigging, Kate Grose sat us down in the club house and gave us a race plan and a good idea what to expect out on the racecourse.

After what seemd like a very long time spent marshalling and watching the top boats going off, we finally found ourselves winding up and powering through the start line under Chiswick bridge. We quickly hit the strong rythym which had served us well at Huntingdon earlier in the season and started to settle in to the race. Before and after Barnes bridge, Univeristy College Durham, who had started close behind us, made a couple of pushes and tried to move up on us, but each time we met the challenge and moved away again. Phil continued to maintain our racing rate as we moved up on the crew ahead and passed them just before Hammersmith Bridge in my favourite moment of the race. Shortly after Hammersmith, Kate's prediciton proved to be accurate as we hit what seemed like a wall of wind and water. We got our blades in, made our push and drove through the waves as we had planned, moving away from the crew behind us with every stroke. As we came past Fulham FC, it became a little calmer again and we drove past the Puntey boathouses to the finsh on almost flat water. This was by far the most exhausting race of the season so far, 4 1/4 miles on rough tideway water is a long way from 2200m on the cam, but we all felt that we had maintained our power and length well and were hopeful that we had achieved a good result.

A check of the internet when we got home confirmed this and our tired legs were given a bit of fresh energy when we saw that we had posted a good time and finished 3rd of the cambridge college crews entered. The day was a great success and a fantastic experience, particularly for those of us who had never raced on the tideway before (despite, in one case, a number of previous attempts!).

Many thanks go to the Army for hiring us a boat and to Kate Grose for helping to arrange everything as well as preparing us so well on the race day itself.

Archived Results