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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 31 March 2014

Head of the river race

On Saturday was the 'Head of the river race' on the Thames. The race is rowed annually each March from Mortlake to Putney (this is the opposite direction to the annual Oxford v Cambridge boat race). It is a 4 mile course with over 400 crews of eights taking part.


 Outside the rowing club houses at Putney many of the boats were being prepared and launched to get them to the start.












 This is one of the teams going under Barnes railway Bridge on their way to Mortlake.
 Watching the boats going beneath the bridge I nearly jumped out of my skin when a train thundered over the bridge behind me!







 Just beside the bridge were queues of boat crews waiting to get their boats onto the river.

The boats start one behind the other at 10 second intervals and the winner is the crew with the fastest time. The order is dictated by their time from last year so the previous years winner always starts first.



There was a delay starting the race this year as the tide turned about 20mins late. This is one of the first boats to go under Hammersmith Bridge.





There were crowds of people watching from the bridge.



 All rowing in unison.










You can hardly see the boat here for all the water spray.





There is a cox at the rear of each boat calling out instructions to the crew and urging them on.
 It was quite exciting watching these three boats battling away.











The legs and arms must becoming very painful at this point of the race.




The boats came very close to one another here as we heard  a clash of oars.


 I didn't realise until I got home that the race had been abandoned after about 75 boats had already finished. Although the water conditions were ok, gusting winds made the finishing marshalling  area difficult for rowing and crews were struggling to cope beyond the finish. The decision was therefore taken to abandon the race



 Here are some of the crews removing the boats from the water.

 The water needs to be emptied before they lift it above their heads.




The one thing that struck me was the length of the boats as this was the first time I had  been that close to them.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday Graphic

33 comments:

  1. Aww …. what a shame the race was eventually canceled due to the weather. Better to be safe than sorry though. This looks like such an incredibly wonderful way to keep fit. Bravo to all the participants!

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  2. That must be a hard job, especially when the river gets agitated !

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  3. After all that effort, no winner? Too bad. Interesting how long and low to the water the boats are.

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  4. That's too bad about the race being cut short. Great shots of the boats and crew. You captured the length so well. The do look incredibly long.

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  5. Too bad the race had to be called due to winds. One of my neighbors does this type of rowing and she really likes it.

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  6. I have always wanted to do that. So fun looking.

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  7. Wow what a shame I wasn't there it would be very nice.

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  8. Wow! These are some great pictures. Are the men and women scored separately, since men are so much stronger than women? I cannot imagine how tough a race this would be. Thanks!! :-)

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  9. Great photos of a very interesting event. The boats look so different in the up-close photos you got.

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  10. How exciting and what a great series of shots of the eventful race ~ for OWT ~ thanks,

    artmusedog and carol

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  11. Cool post! It reminded me that my old boss's son was on a rowing team there. Great shots!

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  12. Great rowingt race ---and your photos are fabulous. Sorry they all couldn't finish--but they have to think about safety... Gee--those boats are huge when looking at them on the ground...

    Maybe Spring is finally coming to our area this week... I hope so since it has been a LONG winter and a crazy one!!!!

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  13. Dearest Fun60;
    What a great rowing race with wonderful pictures♡♡♡ My husband really enjoyed them with enlarged ones. Looks SO exciting(^_^)v

    Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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  14. Must be fun to watch. I love how they row in unison.

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  15. What fun shots. Those boats are pretty long, aren't they?

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  16. Wow! It must be very exciting to watch the event! Rowing is fun though arms hurt!

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  17. How sad because it seemed like a nice day to race. It looked like a fun day nevertheless.

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  18. At least there was sunshine! Once watched the Cambridge /Oxford race…loved the atmosphere ! Can`t even remember who won.

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  19. Wonderful exciting event. Thanks for the pics.

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  20. Looks like a sunny, fun day out for all, especially those who managed to keep dry.

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  21. What an exciting day on the river ... I can imagine there's a whole lot of training that goes on before the big day.

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  22. That is nice you followed the race, it is always exciting to see this. I have seen it several times in Amsterdam and it is a real event with hundreds of people.

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  23. What an exciting event. Thanks for sharing your photos... they brought back my memories to Putney where I was spending 6 months...

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  24. The ambiance has been captured beautifully!!

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  25. They are some very fit people!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  26. Thank you for this interesting post. These boatraces must be great to watch.

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  27. Hi! Nice captures. The boat race photos are very cool. I felt as if I were very near the river. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Lots of action here, makes a great photo shoot. The seats in the last shot look like masquerade masks!

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  29. Great post.. What an interesting time

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  30. passing trains can be quite loud. A friend lived next to a track. They say, you soon get you to it.

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  31. We saw so many rowing clubs along the river and occasionally some practice going on, but never saw an actual race....this was fun, thanks for taking us along.

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  32. Great photos. Can't wait to see the Thames myself. One correction: the coxswain sits in the rear of the boat facing forward to direct the rowers who have their backs in the direction they are going. My daughter was one of those in college her freshmen year.

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