6 March 2023

Women’s Eights Head of the River

On Saturday 4th March, 30 Leander athletes took to the Tideway for the annual Women’s Head of the River.  In what was an amazing display of women’s rowing in the UK a total of 320 crews totalling 2,880 athletes charged down the Tideway course from Chiswick to Putney. 

Leading the field as defending champions was the Leander A crew with two time Olympian and Olympic silver medallist Karen Bennett in the bow seat.  Conditions were favourable and with a clear run the Leander A crew stormed down the track to take the overall victory.

Next up starting 4th, was the full club based crew which was stroked by Abi Topp.  At the first timing marker this crew was only one second down on the A crew which showed they got off to a strong start.  As the crews approached their Tideway base, Fulham Reach Boat Club, they were in an attacking rhythm heading into the final stretch.  Cox Henry Fieldman steered an excellent line and pushed the crew to their limits which was reflected in their overall result.  The Leander B crew finished 8.5 seconds behind the squad eight and second overall.

All was being set up for a Leander 1st and 2nd place.

Only the GB scullers composite 8 containing three Leander athletes could challenge this ranking.  Starting 51st, the Leander supporters on the bank had to wait a while to see what was going to happen.  This sculler 8, having only jumped in on the day to race, put together a fantastic performance to come away with 4th overall.

Leander also fielded a young club development 8 which contained current gap year athlete Isabel Diaz.  The tenacity and no fear attitude that this crew has shown in training was on full display for racing.  Battling leading university and club crews around them they fought their way through to finish 7th overall.

For our Leander women’s squad this was an excellent display of overall strength and depth of the program. Ross Hunter, Womens Chief Coach commented: “I am so pleased with our women’s crews and their performances on the day.  This is a reflection of their commitment and approach to their day to day training at Leander.  Thank you to the WEHORR organising committee and many volunteers who made sure the overall event was a success”

Focus now shifts to our fixture against Cambridge on Sunday 12th March and then on to final preparations for GBR April Trials.

If you are interested in being a part of Leander future success then please fill in the recruitment form and one of our coaching team will be in contact with you.

Photo thanks to Paul Waller, taken from Chiswick Bridge

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