Messing about on The River 

Part II  – Women’s Rowing Makes History

You might have heard of the University Boat Race – is an annual boat race on the Thames between the famous Oxford and Cambridge universities. This year it’s on April 11th at 5.50pm. There is likely to be a quarter of a million spectators on the banks of the Thames and untold millions watching it on TV around the World. The record for the course is 16 minutes 19 seconds achieved by Cambridge in 1998.

History is being made this year as the Women’s Oxford/Cambridge race is being held on the same course for the first time! Up to now it’s been on a shorter course on the Thames at Henley.

But did you know that on March the 14th (starting at 9.30am) upwards of 300 women’s rowing eights will position themselves for the 75th Women’s Head of the River Race. That’s 2,700+ women on the Thames – rowing the same course as the Oxford and Cambridge race – 4 miles 374 yards or 6.8 km – but the other way round – starting at Mortlake (near Chiswick Bridge) and ending at Putney which is, happily for many, where all the pubs are.

It’s no ordinary race. Like the London Marathon the elite of the sport compete with the humble novice crews, and can compare times. It’s a wonderful event – but not one for the fainthearted or unprepared. While strength and stamina count for much – technique and training can make the difference. Not only where your crew is placed – but how you feel at the finish! The race takes from 17 to 22 minutes – and it’s intense. If you think of a rowing stroke as a “rep” you may be doing several hundred over the course of the race – and with no chance of a rest.

The longer “Head” races take place across the country from September to March and prepare crews for the Regatta (side by side racing) season – they’re really the focus of the winter’s training which includes plenty of circuits and weight training as well as work “on the water.” The Women’s Head of the River Race is one of the largest sporting events of the year – who knew?  For more information about the “Women’s Head” (and its history) <a href="http://www preise von” target=”_blank”>visit their website.  Why not head down to Putney on 14th March – get a feel for the sport and cheer some crews home!


Messing about on The River Part I: How to get into Rowing


Learn correct indoor rowing technique in the Active Women’s Fitness: Two Day Bootcamp


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