Fours Head Chief Timekeeper

The Fours Head is looking for a new Chief Timekeeper to shadow the present post-holder in 2022 and take over from her in 2023 when she becomes the competition’s Entries Secretary. The Chief Timekeeper is a member of the Fours Head Committee, all of whom are volunteers.

The Fours Head aspires to be the pre-eminent Head Race for ‘fours’, providing safe and fair racing for competent crews on the Championship Course. One element in achieving this is a robust timekeeping function; as a high-calibre event, we cannot get it wrong.

Effective timekeeping requires a competent team supported by suitable technology and processes, pulled together by excellent organisation. The current approach has been honed by the present Chief Timekeeper over the past 14 years and reliably delivers the results; it should doubtless evolve, but you’ll be taking over a well-oiled machine.

Job description 

  • Recruit, train and organise a team of about 24 volunteers each year. Some members of the current team are expected to stay on for 2023, but the new Chief Timekeeper should expect to recruit a new team.
  • Organise equipment/services hire or borrowing: timing system, video cameras, use of Putney Pier and other locations, gazebo for the Start
  • Provide all necessary timing materials (e.g. timing sheets in clipboards, chairs, binoculars, hazard tape, high-viz tabards, Jaffa Cakes) for each timing location.

Person specification

The main requirement of a Chief Timekeeper is to be a good organiser; experience of timekeeping is less important. You don’t need to be an umpire.

It will be easiest to do the job if you:

  • Are a member of a Tideway or near-Tideway club or have connections at one, or at least with a club within the M25 as a source of local volunteers
  • No longer wish to compete at the Fours Head but have an enduring commitment to the event and to rowing
  • Are of an age where you still have elastic eyesight and probably have friends who do too, although if you are older, that’s fine, so long as you can recruit younger timekeepers (e.g. via your club)
  • Don’t have young children or have a very understanding partner
  • Have somewhere to store 2 large boxes of equipment and several camping chairs during the year
  • Have access to a car that is at least medium-sized
  • Are details-oriented
  • Can commit to taking the role on for at least 5 years.


Contact the current Chief Timekeeper, Helena Smalman-Smith at [email protected].

Applications will start to be considered from 1 March 2022.

Application Dates: From Monday 17th January 2022 to Monday 28th February 2022

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