Leander take victory at Women’s Head

A devastating display of rowing saw Leander Club avenge last year’s second place finish by storming to victory at the Women’s Head of the River Race by nearly 35 seconds over their nearest rival, the GB composite crew.
In near-perfect, warm, windless conditions, Leander were already six lengths clear by Barnes Bridge and crossed the finish line in 18:06.57, narrowly missing out on equalling the 2000 course record.
Good conditions and a fast stream saw three course records broken, including that of junior pennant winners Lady Eleanor Holles BC, who followed up winning the Schools Head just two days earlier, by finishing 12th overall, clocking a time of 19:34.
The Provincial Club Pennant was taken by York City RC (finishing 43rd), after Agecroft RC – normally eligible as a provincial club – was instead winner of the Club pennant, coming in 6th place overall.
In all, a record 303 crews entered this year, with 299 crossing the line.
While this year’s race seemed to lack the side-by-side jostling of previous years (most crews rowed down in single file, in race-start order), a few crashes (with marshaling launches) and some traditional clashing of blades made for committed racing.
Special mention goes to masters composite crew, 229, which bravely raced with only seven oarswomen after their stroke, Suzanne Hutchings, was injured during marshalling.

Click here to view full results.

Reporter – Peter Crush
21 March 2011