Hundreds compete at Reading Small Boats Head

Close to 450 crews took part in the Reading Small Boats Head at the weekend – one the early Head Races of the season in the Thames Region.

The Head, which is held over a 3700m course, attracted 438 crews drawn mostly local clubs, schools and universities all keen to lay a marker at the start of the season, and assess their competition.

Rowers from the host club, Reading RC, enjoyed their day with wins in J18 2x, Senior 2-, Masters A 2-, Masters E 4+, WJ18 1x, WJ17 1x and Women’s IM3 4+. Commenting on the victories, club captain Jack Casserley said: “The club has had a good deal of success, with wins from across all of our racing squads. A particular mention must go to Annabel Stevens, picking up a hard fought WJ18 1x win before doing the same again with her own age group in WJ17 1x. I’d also like to thank all of the RRC members and volunteers who helped put on yet another superb day’s racing in Reading.”

Reading University Boat Club, which is based just downstream of the course and has recently announced an intention to focus completely on sculling, also fielded a large number of crews on the day. Results included a 1st and 2nd place in the IM2 2x and a comfortable win for Lucy Cruxton in the Women’s Elite 1x.

The fastest women’s crew of the day was the IM1 4x From Tideway Scullers School. After the race, the crew’s stroke, Jess Belcher, said: “It was great to race at this event (especially with the weather being nice!) and use it as a checkpoint for training for the Fours Head and other major races which are fast approaching in the rowing calendar.” The win was part of a strong-showing from TSS, following their success at the Pairs Head the week before. 

The largest category was the Women’s J16 1x, with 19 scullers competing from six different clubs and schools. The honours went to Miss Little from Headington School, who completed the course in a strong time of 16:33.48.

Top racing was also seen in the J18 2- with Pangbourne, Eton, Reading Blue Coat and Kingston Grammar all fielding crews. 

Full results from the event are now available at: www.mikrotime.com/rowing/row2014/rsbh14.html.

By James Lee

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