On Sunday 4th March, CULRC competed in Hammersmith Head, a 2¾-mile time trial from Chiswick Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge. The CULRC eight finished tenth overall in a time of 11:31.7 and came second in the IM2 category in which they had entered. The CULRC eight went off hard with a Henley RC eight close on their tail. They gradually edged away from the Henley crew during the race and towards the end of the race opened up their lead considerably, just catching the Putney Town eight, who had been set off two places ahead of them, as they came through the finish line under Hammersmith Bridge.
The race featured some strong crews and functioned as vital preparation for the Head of the River, which the crew will compete in this coming Saturday 17th March. Last year, CULRC finished a very strong thirty-first, ranking higher than many university heavyweight first boats. The current eight intends to better this performance in the lead up to the Henley Boat Races. As the crew is spending more and more time together, they are reaping the benefits of every race and every training session and feel ever growing confidence that they can deliver the first-class performance they deserve in both the Head of the River and the Henley Boat Race.
During the week after Hammersmith Head the CULRC eight sparred against Cantabrigian Rowing Club’s first eight, the crew of which consisted, in part, of a number of CULRC alumni. The two crews competed against each other in some short sprints from standing starts. The CULRC eight dominated the pieces, one of which saw a dramatic blade clash, in which the spoon of a Cantabrigian oarsman was lopped off. CULRC are grateful to Cantabrigian RC for offering them the opportunity to tackle some side by side racing as they approach the Henley Boat Race.