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Fuller's Head of the Rivers Fours is one of the largest rowing events in world

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Head of the River Fours Web Site

The Fuller’s Head of the River Fours, which takes place over the world famous 4 ¼ mile Championship course from Mortlake to Putney, returns to the River Thames in West London for the 59th time on Saturday 30th November starting at 1pm.

Demonstrating the truly inclusive nature of competitive rowing, the race includes men and women of all backgrounds and abilities, from across the UK, Europe and further afield including Olympic champions and medal winners. There will be nearly 500 crews and over 2,000 competitors taking part.

Spectating along the whole course is free, the action will last a couple of hours and there are plenty of good viewing points from which to watch. Stalls selling refreshments and rowing related goods will be located outside many of the local Tideway clubs, especially along Putney Embankment and near Hammersmith Bridge.

It isa rare opportunity for members of the GB national team to compete in club colours and on home waters. Starting no.1 is the top Leander quad scull containing 2 members of the World Championship bronze medal winning crew. Starting directly behind them are an “All stars” crew from Tideway Scullers School, led by Britain’s Olympic bronze medallist, Alan Campbell, the crew incudes reigning World single scull champion Ondrej Synek from the Czech Republic, reigning Quad Scull world champion, Valent Sinkovic from Croatia and the up and coming star of world sculling, Aleksander Aleksandrov of Azerbaijan.

In the men’s coxed four event Leander’s top boat includes Olympic champions Pete Reed and Alex Gregory. They are joined by Tom Ransley, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill from the world championship winning men’s eight.

In the women’s elite events World Champion Polly Swann is joined by 3 of the GB women’s 8 which finished 4 th at the World Championships this summer racing as Leander in a coxless 4. In the women’s quad sculls the Leander “B” crew includes Jess Leyden who became the first British woman to win an open weight world championship single scull gold when she won the Junior title in Lithuania earlier this year.

The Fuller’s Head of the River Fours also offers the first chance for the 2014 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race squads to test themselves against each other in open competition. Both the Oxford University men’s team (racing as Isis) and the Cambridge University men’s team have entered 5 crews with the top boats from each racing in the Elite Coxed 4 division.

The Oxford and Cambridge Universities women’s Boat Race squads are also taking to the Tideway with Cambridge racing seven crews to Oxford’s 3.

The race has always provided a great opportunity to see up and coming talent in the sport, 19 of the Great Britain U23 squad will be competing, as will 17 of the 2013 Great Britain Junior squad. They will be joined by many of the UK’s top club, school and university rowers – all of whom will be hoping to win one of the 21 pennants on offer and a place at the HOR4s prize giving in the Fuller’s brewery in Chiswick.

It can take crews between 17 and 30 minutes to get down the course depending on weather, fitness and skill. The organisers and competitors all will be keeping their fingers crossed for good weather, to avoid a repeat of the last minute 2009 cancellation due to poor conditions.

More details about the history of the race and a full start order are available on the event website at


November 22, 2013