Schools Head of the River Race 2019

Schools Head of the River Race, a.k.a. SHORR will be held Friday 15th of March 2019 in the London Thames region on the Championship Course running from Chiswick Bridge in Mortlake to the Westminster School Boat Club flagpole in Putney organized by Westminster University Boat Club. River Thames is a tidal river and will be closed for the duration of the race. In addition to navigating to prevent from being swept downstream with an outgoing tide, coxswain also need to be aware of dropping water levels to ensure there is enough water under their boats and for the crew’s blades. And, unfortunately, the marshaling plan and start order has changed due to limiting crews due to Saturday’s weather forecast. Next year’s race will be held Wednesday 18th March 2020.

For schedule check HERE.

For race results check HERE.

World Erg Challenge 2019, a collaboration with World Rowing will be held March 15, 2019 through April 15, 2019. Teams consisting of two or more individuals compete by completing meters using a Concept2 Erg, SkiErg or BikeErg.


Great Quotes and Boats

“Music is something I’ve done since I was four years old but coxing is exciting. There’s something about racing that gives you more adrenaline.”

– Zachary Thomas Johnson, Oxford Masters Student in Musicology, Conductor, Rower and Coxswain.

Schools’ Head Of The River 2018

In British Rowing, Schools’ Head Of The River will be held Monday, 12th March 2018 in the Thames region. The race runs from Chiswick Bridge in west London to the Westminster School Boat Club Flagpole on Putney Embankment. River Thames is a tidal river and will be closed for the duration of the race. In addition to navigating to prevent from being swept downstream with an outgoing tide, coxswain also need to be aware of dropping water levels to ensure there is enough water under their boats and for the crew’s blades.

For start order check HERE.

For past results check HERE.

For race schedule and provisional results check HERE.

Great Quotes and Boats

“Let it be my motto, as well as yours. Ever upward, as a new life, a new day begins. Have faith that something unexpected and wonderful is moving toward you at incredible speed-EXCELSIOR! Yes, ever upward we must go, and go together.”

– Anderson Cooper, Yale Coxswain, Author, Broadcast Journalist, Talk Show Host, Son

Coxing in Reduced Visibility




Rowing in reduced visibility can be a frightening task. Picture yourself thick in the pea soup Brit fog of a Sherlock Holmes plot or running from a Scooby Doo villain, the problem is that you just can’t see where you are going.

As a college rower I remember receiving the “Practice is canceled due to fog” text, the one that every rower secretly desires and I happily welcomed at 4am. I relished getting a couple more hours of the best kind of sleep, stolen from a cancelled responsibility. The text always followed with an OYO (On Your Own) erg practice. It didn’t matter. I knew at the time guilt would provide the momentum to get to the erg at my own convenience. Oh what a thought free will at that. And the simply delicious feeling of stolen sleep would be long lasting too.

I also have been tasked with steering a crew in fog that appeared never ending. Fog crept out of nowhere swallowing the sightline whole. I was able to cox our home course relying on memory using treetops to navigate back to the dock.

Here are R2R’s Tips for Coxing in Reduced Visibility     

1. Common Sense. Be aware of your surroundings, instinct and responsibility. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

2. Regardless of your coach’s demands, only take a crew out on the water if you personally feel comfortable.

3. Know your course. Become familiar with the curves of the river, where sand bars, channel markers and rocks are and be aware of the level of traffic expected at the time of launching.

4. Remember fog can become thicker without warning and fog will most likely thicken as the sun begins to rise.

5. Remember that others on the water have limited sight distance too. Be cognizant of stopping especially if another crew is directly behind you. Anticipate that another crew may stop in your path.

6. Do not alter course often or erratically. Do not be afraid to stop, plan, and get your bearing if needed. Solicit your bow to turn around and help with the line of sight.

7. Wear bright colors.

8. Bow light and Stern light: Make sure they are in working order before you head to the dock.  R2R Quick tip: Velcro stern lights using the loop of the coxswain’s hat or around a ponytail holder for 8+.    

9. Change the workout. Avoid starts, sprints and any other fast workouts where rowers could potentially lose focus. A practice of drills like Cut-the-Cake mixed in with some Slow Steady State is best.     

10. Listen. Listen for boat traffic and for other crews on the water.

11. Communicate. Communicate to other crews around you but also communicate to your crew make sure they are fully aware of the possible danger fog can cause. Maintain zero talking in the boat unless there’s an immediate danger. Use your voice to remind the rowers to stay alert, focused and calm.

12. Cell Phone. Always bring a cell phone out with you in case of emergency.

Great Quotes and Boats

“Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious, and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

-Stephen Hawking, Oxford Coxswain, Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, Author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.

What’s in your cox box!?

R2R Top 5: Good things for coxswains to carry in their duffle!

1. Water:  Rowers are not the only ones who need to stay hydrated! Drink water when your rowers do: in-between pieces.
2. Wrenches: Riggers have a tendency to become loose in the middle of a piece (especially the first time out since rigging). Depending on the boat put a wrench in your pocket. A 7/16th is most commonly used and works for Vespoli boats.
3. Medical Tape: For your rowers; as needed.
3. Stop watch: Just in case your cox box stops working.
4. Pen and post-its: For writing down workouts, drills and to note what each rower needs to continually focus on improving.
5. Hat or Sunglasses: A lot of workouts begin in pitch black darkness but bring a pair of sunglasses or hat for when the sun wakes up. The sun’s glare glisenting off the water a beautiful thing but when it’s shinning in your eyes and blinding your path it becomes a dangerous thing.

Bonus Tip: For race day carry extra washers with you. One always seems to go missing!

What is your must have cox box essential?