UK’s top rowers line up for the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours
Some of the UK’s best will be among the school, university and open club rowers heading to London this weekend for what promises to be a spectacular day’s entertainment at the 57th Fuller’s Head of the River Fours.
Over 2000 rowers have entered the illustrious head event, in which boats race against the clock on a four and a quarter-mile course along the River Thames between Mortlake and Putney.
Roughly 40 senior members of the GB Rowing Team will return to their club crews for some fierce racing on Saturday 5 November, whilst the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race crews will also race competitively for the first time this season.
A men’s lightweight quad from Leander will get the racing underway at 11:30am, with Olympic gold medallist Mark Hunter (pictured) joining fellow GB Rowing Team rowers Richard Chambers, Paul Mattick, and Kieren Emery in the day’s first boat.
The Leander quad will then be followed by 488 other crews in 21 categories, over the course of a couple of hours on what promises to be an entertaining day on the Thames.
Cambridge and Oxford University have each entered several elite coxed four crews – from which the 2012 University Boat Race crew will be drawn.
The top Oxford crew will be the 34th boat to race – starting at roughly 11:35am – with the number one Cambridge crew setting off just six seconds later.
In all there are 15 returning rowers from the 2011 University Boat Race, seven of which represented the victorious dark blues.
Where to watch
The route of the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours provides a bevy of prime spots for spectators, from the four bridges along the route to the many refreshment stalls, pubs and restaurants perfectly placed along the banks of the river.
Crews take between 17 and 25 minutes to complete the seven kilometre course, with boats setting off every six seconds.
The best views of the start and finish lines can be found on Chiswick Bridge and Putney Road Bridge, whilst Hammersmith Bridge and Barnes Bridge offer the best perspectives of the actual racing – with crews rowing beneath both.
Spectacular views of the racing can also be had at the many pubs and stalls lining the route, with the south bank of the Thames at Barnes and Putney and the north bank at Hammersmith offering food and drink alongside stunning views of the river.
Feeling inspired by the Head of the River Fours? Explore Rowing can get you out on the water regardless of age or ability. For more information on fun and friendly rowing with Explore Rowing, visit https://www.britishrowing.org/getstarted.