Last weekend saw the club head down to London for the Women's Head of the River Race and Men's Head of the River Race (Eights Head). It is the pinocle of the Head Season for the club and our first opportunity to properly rank ourselves against the major UK university rowing programmes. This year, we supplemented our racing programme with our annual Alumni Dinner on Saturday 10th in Fulham.
Similar to previous years, we had a few boats head down to London early to become more familiar with the Thames, a change from the waters of Lochore! The novice and senior women headed down to London last Thursday for a full day of training on Friday.
Friday brought some good conditions down on the river and a spot of London sunshine. The senior women were able to get a feel for our rented Hudson, for which we want to thank LEH School for their assistance in sourcing! The Hudson we rented was a brand new 2018 model, a slightly different feel from the girls usual eight, but certainly a step up. The novice women also enjoyed becoming more familiar with the course as they had their first experience on a major tidal river.
Saturday saw senior and novice crews out for racing in the Women's Head of the River Race. The senior crew stormed to our first ever top 50 finish, finishing 49th overall and 10th in the Intermediate University category, just behind the major rowing programmes in the UK and leading those programmes who are not supported by the GB Rowing Team. The novice women placed 163rd and 8th in Novice Academic, a significant club record and an extraordinary achievement given that the fin on the boat snapped while the crew was marshalling. Tackling the Tideway is difficult at the best of times, but without steering and as a novice cox, Holly did a superb job navigating down the course. We finished the day with a double club record for both the senior and novice crew, a brilliant first day of racing down on the Tideway.
Saturday evening saw the club gather in Fulham for our Alumni Dinner to see Eden BC officially re-launched with University backing. Huge thanks goes to Chris Furby and the Eden BC committee for their work in getting the dinner up and running as well as Alumni and guests for attending the dinner.
Sunday saw our final crew of the weekend take to the water, the senior men. The senior men are a sculling squad this year, so the focus has been elsewhere from large sweep boats. Despite this, the boys were keen to come down to the Tideway for the race. Serious illness brought some major changes to the boat with some fill in members of the club coming in who've been away from rowing for a few months. Despite this, the boys took the water and put in a good show, placing 149th, not a club record, but a good show from the small boat sculling squad.
All in all, it was a good weekend for the club, especially with strong showings from the women. With just a week until our training camp kicks off, the club has a few days back in Scotland to continue the hard work.