About the Women's Head
The Women's Eights Head of the River Race is raced on the River Thames over 4 miles and 374 yards, or 6.8 kilometres, from the start at the University Pole in Chiswick to the finish at Putney Pier.
Entries are capped at a maximum 320 crews, which means up to 2,880 competitors are on the river right before the start and that's not even counting marshalls, safety crews and other volunteers!
Competitors range in age, from 15 to 70+ years, and in ability, from beginner to international levels.
The Women's Head is a time-trial or processional race; each crew races the clock, aiming to get the fastest possible time in their division. Each boat is assigned a number and the crews proceed down the river one by one in numerical order with a gap of approximately 10 seconds between each crew. Each boat earns an individual time, just like a person racing a marathon - timing begins when they cross the start line and stops when they cross the finish.
Because the race is processional, results can't be compiled until all racing crews have crossed the finish line. During the race, a crew may pass a slower boat or be passed by a faster one, so if you're cheering on a competitor, keep a sharp eye out for their boat - you may find they've skipped around a few places by the time they reach the finish!
Additional information can be found in our Competitor Information and Spectator Information sections, which can be accessed via the menu on the left. See our Race Day page for what to expect on the day.