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Schools' Head of the River Race

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Title: Schools' Head of the River Race  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Abingdon School, Marble Hill Park, Vandeput baronets, Hampton Youth Project, Pocock baronets
Collection: Mortlake, London, Rowing on the River Thames, Rowing Races, Water Sports in London
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Schools' Head of the River Race

Schools' Head of the River Race
Frequency Annual
Location(s) Championship Course, River Thames in London, England
Years active ?-Present
Previous event 26 March 2014
Next event 2015
Participants approx. 300 crews
Organised by Westminster School

The Schools' Head of the River Race (SHORR) is the UK's largest school-age Westminster School for crews aged between 14 and 18 years old. It is held in Spring, the end of the head race season.

The race forms a leg of the national kudos of winning a rowing 'triple' in which occasionally an indefeasible Junior Eight (J18 8+ or WJ18 8+) wins this race, the National Schools Regatta, the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta or the Peabody Cup at Henley Women's Regatta.

In the young men's category at J18 Emanuel School still hold the record for the most wins at a total of 11.


  • Course 1
  • Race format 2
    • History 2.1
    • Current format 2.2
  • Records 3
    • Men's events 3.1
    • Women's events 3.2
    • Mixed events 3.3
  • Winners of all categories when last held 4
  • Previous J18 eights' winners 5
  • See also 6
  • Notes and references 7
  • External links 8


The race is held annually on the River Thames in London, England, on the 4 14 miles (6.8 km) Championship Course from the University Stone in Mortlake to Westminster School Boat Club flagpole in Putney. It is rowed with the tide and is in the opposite direction to The Boat Race.[1]

Race format


The event in its infancy offered a shortened course for smaller boats, such as J15 4s, J15 B 8's, and Maiden 4s. The shortened course ran from Hammersmith Bridge (from London Corinthian Sailing Club) to the regular finishing post at Putney. However, CD Riches, the event's manager, changed this in 2009.

Current format

The race is the largest head race of the winter season by junior crews. It attracts around 300 crews each year. Composite crews, drawn from more than one club or school, are not permitted.

All categories race the 6.8 km Championship Course.

In 2012, the J4- and WJ4- events were introduced.[n 1]

In 2013, the Mix 4x[n 2] event was introduced to the race.


The current record holders for the events are:

Men's events

Event Winner Time Year
Ch8+ Eton College 16:47 2009
1st8+ Canford School 17:13 2014
2nd8+ Shrewsbury School 17:22 2007
3rd8+ Hampton School 17:46 2007
J16 Ch8+ Hampton School 17:25 2011
J16 1st8+ Sir William Borlase's Grammar School 17:53 2011
J16 2nd8+ Hampton School 17:51 2014
J15 Ch8+ King's College School 17:58 2007
J15 1st8+ 18:12 2011
J15 2nd8+ St Paul's School 18:37 2012
J15 3rd8+ Hampton School 20:13 2013
J4x[n 2] Westminster School 17:38 2014
J17 4x[n 2] Westminster School 18:20 2014
J4- Westminster School 18:41 2012
J4+ 18:42 2007
J16 4+ Evesham RC 19:17 2011
J15 4+ Westminster School 19:38 2012

Women's events

Event Winner Time Year
WCh 8+ The Lady Eleanor Holles School 18:28 2011
WJ16 8+ Kingston Rowing Club 19:41 2011
WJ15 8+ Headington School 19:51 2012
WJ 4x[n 2] Latymer Upper School 19:24 2011
WJ17 4x[n 2] Henley Rowing Club 20:56 2014
WJ4- Sir William Borlase's Grammar School 20:37 2012
WJ 4+ Henley Rowing Club 20:12 2007
WJ16 4+ Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls 21:03 2002

Mixed events

Event Winner Time Year
Mix 4x[n 2] Evesham RC 19:42 2013

Winners of all categories when last held

Event Winner Time
Ch8+ St Paul's School 16:56
1st 8+ Canford School 17:13
2nd 8+ Latymer Upper School 17:29
3rd 8+ Hampton School 18:02
J16 Ch8+ Westminster School 17:26
J16 1st8+ Bedford Modern School 18:10
J16 2nd8+ Hampton School 17:51
J15 Ch8+ St Paul's School 18:13
J15 1st8+ Westminster School 18:31
J15 2nd8+ St Paul's School 19:28
W Ch8+ Headington School 18:49
WJ16 8+ The King's School, Chester 21:19
WJ15 8+ Henley Rowing Club 20:18
J 4x[n 2] Westminster School 17:38
J17 4x[n 2] Westminster School 18:20
J4+ Evesham RC 19:57
J16 4+ The King's School, Chester 20:05
J15 4+ Norwich School 20:54
Mix 4x[n 2] Runcorn Rowing Club 20:45
WJ 4x[n 2] Gloucester Hartpury 20:53
WJ17 4x[n 2] Henley Rowing Club 20:56
WJ 4+ Henley Rowing Club 21:45
WJ16 4+ Bedford Girls School 21:59

Previous J18 eights' winners

Year Time Winner Second Third
2014 16:56 St Paul's School St Edward's School Radley College
2013 17:10 Hampton School Abingdon School St Paul's School
2012 16:53 Abingdon School Hampton School Shrewsbury School
2011 16:53 Abingdon School Eton College Shrewsbury School
2010 17:22 Eton College Shrewsbury School Hampton School
2009 16:47 Eton College Shrewsbury School St Paul's School
2008 09:39[n 3] Shrewsbury School Abingdon School Eton College

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ In line with increased rationalisation globally to coxless fours see for example the 2006 abolition of the Prince Philip Challenge Cup and expansion of the Britannia Challenge Cup with the Prince Albert Challenge Cup for university student coxed fours at Henley.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Quad. Ch, only used in the in 8s category, denotes top boat (Championship entry for each school) for other symbols used (+ and -) see Rowing (sport)
  3. ^ Shortened course.
  1. ^ "About the Race" Schools Head of the River Race Westminster School. Retrieved 2014-11-18.

External links

  • Official Website
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