Head of the River race abandoned

A combination of late, spring tides and gusting easterly winds forced the abandonment of the Head of the River Race on Saturday due to unsafe conditions near the finish. 

John Duff, the Chairman and Chief Umpire issued the following statement: “The Head of the River Race was abandoned this afternoon at 2:55pm after about 75 crews had passed the finish line.

“The organisers faced the difficult decision as to whether water conditions were sufficiently safe to start the race. The tide turned about 20 minutes late, and whilst most of the course enjoyed near perfect conditions, gusting winds made the finish marshalling area very difficult for rowing.

“After a 15 minute delay to the start, and a reduced wind, the decision was made to start divisions 1 and 2. However, it soon became clear that as crews in these divisions were struggling to cope beyond the finish line, the decision was taken to abandon the race.”

The Head of the River committee would like to take this opportunity to thank crews for their understanding and co-operation – many had travelled a long way to compete after training during a difficult winter. Their sincere thanks go to the outstanding volunteers who crewed the safety and marshalling vessels.

While it was considered unfair to award prizes to the partial field of crews who had completed the race, the committee agreed that the results are crucial to the athletes who managed to row. Many results were difficult to establish, given the lost numbers and mixed fortunes in the conditions. 

The top three times taken were Molesey Boat Club (18:05.05), Leander Club (18:16.00) and University of London (18:36.70). The fastest overseas crew was Nereus of the Netherlands (18:45.11) followed by Crefelder of Germany (19:09.82).

More information at: www.horr.co.uk/wordpress/

Report by James Felt