The Cambridge Winter Head 2017
Saturday 18th November saw 1,807 participants descend on the River Cam to take part in Cantabrigian Rowing Club’s Cambridge Winter Head. Held over 5 divisions, the race regularly sees participation from clubs in the Eastern Region, Cambridge University college clubs, and London-based university clubs as well as many others.
This year there were also crews from overseas, with 3 crews from Heidelberger Ruderklub 1872 taking part. Heidelberg, Germany, is twinned with Cambridge and has invited crews from Cantabrigian RC to take part in regattas there in recent years. The most notable occasion was in July this year when a women’s masters crew from Cantabrigian RC travelled to Heidelberg to take part in a regatta where they were coxed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were there on a royal visit.
The visiting crews from Heidelberger Ruderklub 1872
The German club enjoyed some good performances at the Winter Head, with their men’s and women’s eights finishing 2nd in the ‘Senior 1’ event. The fastest women’s crew of the day was from Cantabrigian RC, with the crew containing 7 of the crew which won the club 8+ event at Henley Women’s Regatta in a course record time. The fastest men’s crew was from Downing College BC, who will be buoyed by their performance at the start of the season as they look towards the Lent Bumps next term.
The Cantabrigian winning women’s eight
The fastest women’s Cambridge college was Emmanuel, who finished 17 seconds clear of second-placed Downing College. The Winter Head also sees many novices race for the first time since learning to row in September and October. Over the 2500m Winter Head course, Fitzwilliam College BC was the fastest women’s beginner crew, and King’s College Cambridge took the honours for the men.
The Cam’s sharp bends are an additional challenge for novice coxes, with a number of crews temporarily ‘parking’ on corners around the course, and one particular cox racing with an inflated lifejacket after accidentally setting it off whilst marshalling for the race. There were 33 entries in junior events, with Sudbury RC putting in some good performances, including wins for their girls in the J18 coxless quad and J17 coxed quad.
The Cantabrigian cake baked by Emma Siragher
The Cantabrigian junior women’s eight
Cantabrigian’s juniors also put in a good performance to win the women’s and men’s novice eights events. Masters events were hotly contested this year, with Champion of the Thames RC winning the women’s eights, Cantabrigian RC the women’s quads, X-Press RC the men’s eights and Lea RC the men’s coxed fours. Winning crews were presented with engraved hipflasks by the Mayor of Cambridge.
A full list of results from the Cambridge Head of the River can be found here.