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Women’s Eights Head of the River Race 2024: Race Report

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Clydesdale ARC Senior Women | WEHORR 2024 | Dalia (bow), Emma, Veronika, Lynne, Kelsey, Helen, Nina, Rebecca (stroke), and Harriet (cox).

Saturday 9th March 2024 saw 8 Clydesdale ARC members racing down the tideway from Mortlake to Putney in the largest women’s rowing race in the world, the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race (WEHORR).

Clydesdale ARC was represented in two crews, first up we had a CARC junior representing Scotland in the Scottish Argonauts boat. This boat sees promising athletes from all over Scotland team together to race against the best junior crews in the country. Athletes were selected for this boat after participating in a Scottish Argonauts Selection Camp up in Inverness at the end of February. Congratulations to the several members of CARC junior squad who were selected for the camp, and a special mention to Isabel who rowed at 6 in the Scottish Argonauts boat at WEHORR – well done!

The second crew was a composite senior crew formed of 7 members of CARC senior women’s squad, a member of Strathclyde University Boat Club, and Roskilde Roklub (all the way from Denmark)!

After heavy rain earlier in the week both crews were very grateful to have been allowed to race after fast flow on the tideway had meant the start list had been reduced from 320 to about half. Thankfully, the rain held off for the race day and we were even treated to a little bit of sunshine.

Having made the trip down to London, met our crew mates (in the case of the CARC senior women’s composite boat), prepped our boats and blades, completed a pre-paddle, we then found ourselves at the mercy of the spring tides! The very high, high tide, saw flooding of the Putney embankment, surrounded our boat, and submerged our blades. Thankfully our very nice new blades were quickly rescued and our boat stayed put. Once the water began to drop, crews started boating and both crews made it safely to the start line.

Racing conditions were made a little tricky by head winds in sections going against a fairly strong flow – although the flow did make for some fast splits being recorded! Despite this two solid performances were put in for crews that both had very limited time rowing together, against some very strong competition. The Clydesdale Senior Women Composite crew came 110th, and the Scottish Argonauts finished 121st.

Anyone that has been to WEHORR before will know that WEHORR is so much more than a rowing race and this year was no exception. Our goal this year was to have some fun (type 1 and type 2) and share the experience of WEHORR with those that hadn’t experiences it before – it was the first time for 6/9 of the CARC senior women. The experience of the high tides, the scale and location of the race, the friends from other clubs we got to see, rowing on the ebb flow, a little bit of racing drama, a great weekend with friends, and an awesome brunch on Sunday meant this will be a race none of us will forget anytime soon!

CARC new sweep oars had their first outing on the tideway.
The view from our host club Thames Rowing Club at high tide – there should be a road…
Post race brunch!

The post Women’s Eights Head of the River Race 2024: Race Report first appeared on Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club.

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