Historic Boating Event: London’s Head of the River Race

March 21, 2013

London’s Top Rowing Event: Head of the River Race 2013

One of the longest-running sports traditions in London, the Head of the River Race is set to be held on the renowned river Thames on 23, March 2013. This premier rowing race will bring more than 3500 competitors and 400 crews from around the world together in London’s most famous river to compete for the championship.

The first Head of the River Race was held back in 1926, initiated by the Cambridge and Tideway oarsman Steve Fairburn. Originally, the historic race was organised so that crews could practice long rows during the off-season, and thus be fully prepared for the summer series of boat races.

The yearly event will include hundreds of boats, manned by crews of 8 men each, competing by rowing over the 6.8 km course (4.25 mi) stretching from Mortlake to Putney.

Springing into Action

Not only is the Head of the River Race a historic tradition for rowers all over the world, it’s also the perfect time for locals in the UK and visitors from across the globe to celebrate the emergence of spring.

Whether you’re getting up early to grab a good spot on the banks of the river Thames or you’re simply watching on the telly, gather your friends and family and get ready to cheer on your favourite rowing team for the win.

With hundreds of rowing crews from all over the world competing in the championship course, and with one of the highest participation rates in the city of London, you surely won’t want to miss this incredible boating event.

Are You Part of the Crew?

Traditionally, the winners from the previous year will start off the race, and subsequent crews will start each at 10-second intervals according to the order they finished last year. Newbies are set to start in alphabetical order.

Before, the race, the official Head of the River Race committee highly advises that every rowing crew watch the “Coxing a Tideway Head” video.

The river Thames will be closed for an hour before the start of the race (12:45pm) on Race Day, and the usual rules will be suspended at that time. They do, however, apply all other times.

No matter who you’ll be cheering for, or whether you’ll be taking part in the historic boating event yourself, Head of the River Race Day is a fabulous opportunity to celebrate spring with a bit of friendly competition.


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