Congratulations to the College coxed 1st IV who won the annual Schools' Head of the River Race on the River Thames championship course. The talented crew of Stephen Abraham (L6, NH), William Martin (L6, NH), Harry Pratt (L6, H) and Boat Club Captain Rhys Edwards (U6, S), with Ali Buchan (4th, H) as cox, won their event by one second over the 7km race, beating Shiplake College into 2nd place and defeating crews from King's School Worcester, Monmouth School and St. Edwards School. This was the first time in 20 years that College has won this race!
The Schools' Head is the national level event in school rowing, with over three hundred crews taking part in a number of events throughout the Spring Term. Starting 4th in their division, the crew showed excellent speed in the first half of the course, overtaking all three crews that started in front of them. After passing Hammersmith Bridge, their hard work in the gym and on the rowing machines paid off as they continued to gain ground on the field into a challenging headwind – steered exceptionally by Ali Buchan on his first visit to the Tideway. After crossing the line the boys endured an agonising wait for the results to be published before the relief of winning by a small – but significant - one second margin.
Head of Rowing, Richard Jones commented; "I am very proud of the hard work and commitment the boys have shown throughout the season in order to achieve this result. They have trained extremely hard both in the gym and on the river, as well as successfully managing their academic and extra-curricular commitments. They have set a fine example to the rest of the Boat Club as to what can be achieved if you are committed and organised."
Rowing at College has seen significant investment in the past two years with a new Head of Rowing and a new coaching team in place. Further redevelopment of the Boat House at Tewkesbury is ongoing and numbers are flourishing with over 130 pupils rowing in the Spring and Summer terms, including a rapidly increasing number of girls. The club is now aiming to build on its success in London and qualify a crew into Henley Royal Regatta in July for the first time since 2008.