The Women's Eights Head of the River Race
) is a processional rowing
race held annually on the Tideway
of the River Thames
on the 4¼ mile (6.8 km) Championship Course
A mirror of the Eights Head of the River
for male crews, it is held a fortnight earlier when the tides are similar. It is raced on the outgoing tide and starting around one hour after high tide in order to maximise advantage from the tidal flow.
Around 250 crews of women (with the occasional male coxswain) compete for over a dozen trophies and pennants. There are categories for beginners, elite and veteran rowers.
The race was first held in 1927 following the first running of the men's version in 1926. At first it was simply a match between Ace and Weybridge
LARC. This race was run as a side-by-side race, with Weybridge winning in a boat borrowed from Thames Rowing Club
. The second year featured the same two crews, and the same result. In 1929, for the third race, there was the addition of Alpha, having formed in a split from Ace in 1927. Alpha won this running of the race.
The first running of the race in processional format was in 1930, as the entries had risen to five, making it impossible to run fairly in the side-by-side format on the tidal river. Furnivall Sculling Club
(then an all women's club) won this first processional version of the race. It then continued in similar format annually until the outbreak of war
The event restarted... Read More