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  • Writer's pictureHelen Leigh

Schools' Head of the River: Friday 17th March 2023

Dear Parents and Athletes,

The Schools’ Head of the River (SHORR) is run over approximately 6800m downstream and with the tide on the River Thames from the Universtiy Pole in Chiswick to the finish line at Putney Pier (a few hundred meters upstream of Putney Bridge.

Schools’ Head of the River is one of the key events of the season for Headington. HSOBC have entered four crews to race at this event.

Please note that all girls should use school transport to get to the event unless she has permission via email from the Head of Rowing to meet us at the event, if dropping your daughter off please ensure that she is there no later than 8:30am at the agreed meeting point. Athletes are responsible for finding out from their coaches where and when they need to meet on the day of the race if travelling separately from their team.


Headington have been given permission to boat before the race from the Emanuel School boathouse which is just downstream of Barnes Bridge, the address is as follows:

Emanuel School Boat Club

The Promenade


W4 2SH

There is no access for parents to the boathouse and there is no parking in or around the boat house. Please refer to the 'spectators' section below for the best spectator viewing options.

The Draw:

The draw can be found on the event website.

The Headington crew lineups will be finalised with the girls this week. Any girls recovering from injury or illness will not race.

Training is not on for those who are not racing at Schools’ Head of the River.


The bus will depart at 7:00 am at the latest. Please meet outside the school gym at

6:50 am.

Please note that there are boarders and girls who may be sleeping. The ROWERS MUST NOT MAKE ANY NOISE while waiting outside the boarding house.

Transport is available back from Putney No girls may depart the event until the trailer is fully loaded.

Itinerary: SHORR – Friday 17th March 2023

Please note that it is the rower's responsibility that they follow the coaches instructions and the timings below. Also, once the girls boat they may have to wait on the water before racing so they will need to make sure to have had a loo stop prior to racing and have warm rowing kit available.

06:50: Meet outside school gym

07:00: Bus departs from Headington.

08:30: Bus arrives at Emmanuel Boat Club - begin rigging boats

10:00: Dressed and ready for pre-race chat at the trailer. Warm up then boat. Please note: rowers are responsible for ensuring that they have boated in good time, rowers need to have inspected the event website and made note of boating and marshalling times. Crews that are late may not be allowed to race. I have instructed coaches that under no circumstances are they to chase girls to get boated.

11:00: Hands on to boat

11:45: In marshalling area (warm kit is needed as rowers may be there for a while)

12:00: Approximate start time: it could be earlier or later so rowers are to row straight to the start.

After the race any breakages or other equipment issues should be reported to the coaches immediately.

from 14:00: De-Rig and load trailer . No girl may depart before the trailer is fully loaded.

All competitors should read and familiarise themselves with the Competitor Instructions document

More safety and welfare information can also be found on the event website

Kit and Food:

The girls will need:

- Water bottles with electrolyte replacement fluid.

- Food - appropriate for race day, if you are not sure what to pack please have the girls ask their coaches

- A good breakfast before departing (eg: Porridge, toast and a banana).

- Make sure to have a meal for after the race, such as pasta and banana / fruit and some food for after the training row.

- Kit: It will be cold and possibly wet so separate training and racing kit will be needed.

Make sure you have enough warm and waterproof kit for when you are sitting around. Coxes and athletes will not be allowed to boat if they are not properly attired for the weather conditions.

- Wellington boots are required for boating


The best place to view this race is from Hammersmith Bridge which is about 2km from the start. Viewing is also possible from several other locations along the course in particular from Chiswick Bridge (start line) and on the southern bank near Barnes Rail Bridge, there is also limited viewing of the finishing stretch from the Putney embankment. There is some on street parking nearby these locations.

The crews are set off approximately every 10 seconds so you can work out a rough start time for the Headington crews based on their crew number as published in the race draw.

Headington Boats:

The 1st VIII is Starting 160

The 2nd VIII is starting 209

The 3rd VIII is starting 302

The 4th VIII is starting 335

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