Czechs return for 2013 HORR

Last year’s victorious Czech Republic crew will be back in force on the Tideway this weekend, looking to defend their title against 399 crews at the 2013 Head of the River Race.

The Czech Rowing Federation boat – containing a number of senior internationals – surged past some of British rowing’s big guns on their way to the 2012 headship, covering the famous River Thames course in 17 minutes and 34.08 seconds.

Despite featuring a host of returning GB Rowing Team athletes, who would go on to unprecedented success at London 2012, the two top starters from Leander and Molesey were unable to hold off the rampant Czech crew.

At this year’s event, the maximum 400 crews will do battle between Mortlake and Putney on Saturday – 3,500 rowers travelling from across the UK and much further afield to compete in the annual flagship head race. 

With the GB Rowing Team currently preoccupied in Australia – preparing for the first World Rowing Cup of the season – this year’s HORR is expected to be closer than ever. 199 domestic rowing clubs have entered – some bringing as many as eight crews – and they will be joined by 53 crews from overseas.

Overseas crews picked out by organisers as ones to watch include HORR regulars Astillero from Spain and Italians Cus Pavia. However, with more than 20 crews entered from Germany and first time appearances from Russian and Slovakian crews, this year’s head will play host to a number of intriguing battles on the Thames.

Prizes will be presented by former GB Rowing Team stalwart and Olympic medallist Greg Searle MBE.

For a closer look at the 400-crew draw for this year’s Head of the River Race, visit www.horr.co.uk/2013/draw.html.