Westminster School impress at the Fours Head
Challenging conditions greeted 480 crews from across the UK and Europe, as they lined up on the Thames at Chiswick to take part in the 54th Fuller’s Head of the River Fours on Saturday 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. Rain and a strong southerly wind on the day provided a reminder that the 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 from GB’s Olympic squad 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 Coxed Fours event, beating Olympic champion Andy Triggs-Hodge‘s Molesey BC 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, with this year being the first time lightweight categories have been included in the race.
Westminster School 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.
Full results and crew lists are available on the event website at http://www.hor4s.org.uk/