Looking forward to the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours
The 64th Fuller’s Head of the River Fours, which takes place over the world famous 4 1⁄4 mile Championship course from Mortlake to Putney, returns to the River Thames in West London this Saturday, November 3 at 12:00. Nearly 2,000 athletes in over 480 boats from across the UK and Europe will compete in Quads, coxed and coxless fours.
Last years Head of the River Fours event was won by the Leander quad of Rowan Law, Jon Jackson, Harry Leask and Andrew Joel. Rowan Law, one of the fastest scullers at GB Trials in February, won’t be racing this year but the senior men’s crew they beat will be looking to take the fastest time in 2018.
Starting no.1 and 2 are two Leander Club Open Men’s Quads (M4X) full of senior Great Britain internationals, with the crew of Jack Beaumont, John Collins, Jonny Walton and Angus Groom starting first and being chased by Tom Barras, Harry Leask, Will Satch and Allan Sinclair. They will face stiff competition from a crew from the Swiss national team (start number 5) with a crew that includes 2018 World silver medallist Barnabe Delarze and also from Oxford Brookes University (start number 7) with a crew containing Belgian World LM2X bronze medallists Tim Brys and Niels Van Zandweghe.
The Open Women’s Quads (W4X) are led off by a composite of Cambridge University, Agecroft and Tideway Scullers (start number 84) that includes World LW1X bronze medallist Imogen Grant. They are chased by the University of London with a crew which includes three senior internationals, and Leander Club who also have three senior British athletes in the crew.
In the Men’s Coxless Fours (M4-) Leander again have two crews leading off the field. The first boat (start number 15) includes Olympic champion Tom Ransley along with senior internationals Ollie Wynne-Griffith, Tom Jeffrey and Matt Rossiter. The 2nd Leander M4- are the current GB crew of Adam Neill, Tom Ford, Jacob Dawson and James Johnston this crew won bronze at the World Championships in Plovdiv in September.
It’s a similar story in the Open Women’s Coxless Fours, with Leander having two crews full of GB internationals heading the field. The no.1 Leander crew (start number 118) includes the current GB Women’s coxless pair of Rowan McKellar and Harriet Taylor. The 2nd Leander boat has Fiona Gammond and Katherine Douglas from the GB W8 and Emily Ashford and Josephine Wratten from the GB W4-.
The Fullers Head of the River Fours also offers the first chance to see the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race squads go head-to-head over the Championship course. The Open Men’s Coxed Fours sees four Cambridge crews (racing as Goldie) take on three Oxford boats (racing as Isis). The top Goldie crew (start number 52) includes Blue Freddie Davidson and Polish Olympian Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk. Isis’s lead boat (start number 45) includes Blues Felix Drinkall and Achim Harzheim.
In the women’s coxed fours (W4+) Cambridge University have four crews racing against Oxford’s three. Cambridge boats include Blues Fanny Belais and Patricia Smith. Oxford can also call upon two returning Blues with Renee Koolschijn and Beth Bridgman.
The Fuller’s Head of the River Fours, has always provided a great opportunity to see up and coming talent in the sport, As well as all the experienced international athletes competing, many of the UK’s top club, school and university rowers are also racing– all of whom will be hoping to win one of the pennants on offer, and a place at the HOR4s prize giving in the Fuller’s brewery in Chiswick.
More details about the history of the race and a full start order are available on the event website at www.hor4s.com