Women’s Eights Head of the River Race 2018 draw is announced
The draw for the 78th Women’s Eights Head of the River Race (WEHoRR) was released today with a total of 319 entries and 2,871 participants. The event, which takes place on Saturday, March 10, is held on the Tideway from Chiswick Bridge to Putney Pier, just short of Putney Bridge. The race is run with the tide over a distance of 4 ¼ miles and will start this year at 9.45am owing to the early high tide of 07.27am.
The WEHoRR event kicks off a four-day bonanza of rowing on the Tideway and elsewhere. The Head of the River, which was cancelled last year, is being held the next day with the Schools Head on Monday, March 12 and additionally the Junior Scullers Head at Dorney on Tuesday, March 13. This year WEHoRR has attracted more entries than the Head of the River for the first time.
Although crew details have not been announced at this stage, last years overall winners, Leander Club, are back leading a strong field in the Elite Category. Last year Leander fielded an all-star crew comprising top British talent including Vicky Thornley, Karen Bennett, Fi Gammond, Holly Nixon, Jess Leyden and Holly Norton and no doubt they will once again be favourites to win.
Serious contenders for the top spot must Cambridge University who look to be very strong Boat Race favourites this year and only trailed Leander by 4 seconds last year. Also in the Elite group are Imperial College who won the Senior category last year, University of London, recently beaten by CUWBC in friendly matches and who came second in the Senior category in 2017, and Molesey, who won the Club pennant last year, finishing third in the Senior category.
Oxford Brookes has once again entered the Senior category in 2018. They came fourth last year (sixth overall) and will be favourites to beat Cambridge University B, Edinburgh University, Durham University and Exeter University. However, this weekend it’s the BUCS Head and it will be interesting to see how these crews perform, particularly Edinburgh who have gone from strength to strength under Colin Williamson and have quality athletes like Lucy Glover in their squad.
Oxford Brookes will not be at BUCS as they are facing Oxford University Women’s Boat Club in a pre-Boat Race match on the Tideway this Saturday. It will be interesting to see how Oxford University fare against their neighbours after some relatively poor showings in recent pre-Boat race matches.
We will be featuring more from the Women’s Eights Head of the River and the amazing volunteer network that supports this unique event in the following weeks.