The Fullers Fours head of the river is judged by many to be the gold standard for Head racing in the UK. Seamlessly efficient (despite the usual grim conditions), rapid results, top quality competition and the best prize in rowing – a piss up at the Fullers brewery in Mortlake. And it has the great advantage of being on the Tideway: Home advantage, no travelling involved and everyone can get straight onto the “recovery” sesh post racing.
Of the 417 crews racing, 12 were proudly sporting the black blue and silver racing stripes of ICBC , 7 Men’s crews & 5 Women’s crews. With trials having been the previous weekend, most of the crews were put together in the week running up to the race. A few manic evening sessions of battle pieces between the crews provided great preparation. Other tideway clubs were overjoyed to see the return of the IC armada as we provided conditions likely to be replicated during racing.
After a stunning Friday on the Tideway, it was back to the race day norm of wet & cold Britain on Saturday, although luckily the wind never kicked up a fuss providing some good conditions for racing.
First off down the course and with high hopes of the headship was our international quad with IC’s Sam Scrimgeour & Barnabe Delarze together with Swiss friends Mario Gyr (Olympic Champion LM4-) & Roman Roeoesli (Pulled Barnabe to the Olympics). Sadly they couldn’t turn over Leander’s top quad but considering they had day or so to come together it was always going to be tough.
Zoe Lee and Georgia Francis were thrilled to be away from Caversham and back on the tideway, they were joined by Putney Town’s Charlotte Taylor and Caragh Mcmurtry in their quad. Leander were scared off by the combination and didn’t even turn up to race leaving the girls to take the W Elite 4x pennant. Their only challengers were our club quad of Pippa, Maddy, Rebecca and Natalie who ended up 12s behind and 4th place overall. They seemed pretty happy with the row and celebrated with pies and some impressive photoshopping.
Our other men’s quad was initially made up of the top 4 student ergs and had been labelled “THE Super Quad”. However, illness called for a reshuffle, and Tristan “SuperQuads” Vouilloz was moved into the 4- and Tim was called up out of “retirement” to provide some silk to the very raw horsepower provided by Ollie, Toby “Mr Crabs” Heaton and ex-Leander Junior Harry Uglow. They had an absolute blinder without crabbing and took the IM1 win from an expectant Leander crew and finished 6th overall.
Our final win came from Sport Imperial 4- featuring old boys Matt Pointing, Matt Whaley and a Butler brother bucket. It was great to see both Matts back racing in Blue and both making it to the end in good shape. Coached by Josh from the 2 seat the boys showed the rest of the field how it was done, putting 18s on the next best crew from two Thames and ended up 5th 4- overall.
I apologise for just including the notable results in this report. A summary of all the crews can be seen below. It was great to have so many IC crews out racing and training together in the week before. The head season is now fully up and running. The club now gets back to the grind after a busy and successful couple of weeks. Looking forward to fitting in some more head racing and our traditional trial 8s on the final weekend of term before we break for Chrimbo.
Thanks to Mark Ruscoe for the Great Photos!