This year, the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race fell just two weeks before the Boat Race, so was a good time for reviewing the progress over the last few months and beginning the last preparations before the Boat Race.

The Blue Boat started off fifth. A slightly unsteady first kilometre saw a quick Durham crew snapping at their heels, but the seasoned crew held their challenge and pushed away around the Crossover, moving up on the crew in front, the University of London around towards Hammersmith. Sparring with the crew affected their line, with the result that the Blue Boat clipped the marker buoy next to Harrods. Despite recovering commendably, the incident cost them precious time. Despite this, they finished in eighth place, four seconds behind their Dark Blue rivals.

The lightweights, starting fifteenth, moved up and overtook several crews during the race, and finished twenty first, eleven seconds ahead of the OUWLRC crew, which sets them up well for the next two weeks.

Blondie had a disappointing row on the day and finished 55th. However, they have been looking promising in training and there is definitely still all to play for over the much shorter course at Henley.

Blue boat – 19:13.92

Lightweights – 19:53.11

Blondie – 20:23.73

Guen Bradbury