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  1. This Wiki exists to help head race organisers run more successful regattas with less stress. In the first instance, I believe that sharing knowledge,ideas and templates will go a long way. In the long run, it may be possible to make more gains by establishing a more formal association, and or by sharing more expensive equipment and even more skilfull people.

    Key topics seem to be:

    Maintaining access to venues (and working with local authorities)

    Publicity and entry processing

    Timing and results presentation

    Risk management and safety

    Organisation structures

    Attracting, training and retaining volunteers

    Head racing is clearly very popular with rowers and scullers of all standards and ages, in all boat types, and demand for some regattas is above venue capacity. Strangely though, I am not aware of a national head race championship, or major multi regatta competition over a series of events. Is there interest in this topic?

    I have created some pages, and will add  "stuff" which I think may be interesting and provoke discussion. Please feel free to add, agree, disagree etc.

    John Whiting
    22 Jan 2012

    1. Anonymous

      Interesting point on the lack of national head race championship or series of 'qualifiers' for head racing.  I'm interested in exploring that idea.

      Thanks for putting this all together,
      Carolyn McGonagle
      Director, New Bedford Community Rowing 

  2. Anonymous

    As Secretary of the first Head (Head of the River Race , London), I am rather wary about the idea of the Head season becoming as formal and structured as the regatta season ... is formal the word ? Our founder (your Steve Fairbairn) set up the idea to give oarsmen something to get their teeth into in the flat period between about August and May (the GB regatta season then was that short !). I believe I can see - at least in this country - a continuation of that general idea , in that crews chop and change over the Head season as seat arrangements are trialled and crews switch into larger and smaller boats for training - or indeed recreational - purposes . Things certainly stay competitive , but as (again , in the UK) there is no progression up the status ladder there is a generally a more relaxed air about it all .


    More to follow

    Andrew Ruddle 


    1. Thanks Andrew,

      You have raised a very good point. Informality is one reason for the popularity of head racing, in my opinion. Many "club", ie non elite, athletes are looking for competitive events which are fun, including me!. We often express this desire for fun events by being critical of the formality and also the predictability of side by side racing on buoyed courses. Of course while we want informal and fun head racing events we also expect (demand?) that the event be run efficiently, that the timing is accurate, and results are available promptly. As regatta entry numbers grow, and people travel further.....the demand for good outcomes is harder to meet.

      There is a bit of tension in Australia between people who want to apply the rowing rules as they relate to side by side racing and those who seek your "more relaxed air". In almost all cases they rowers are on the more relaxed side of the debtae. 

      Incidentally, my only experience of the HORR (2009) was very positive. Our 60 year old 8 (from Melbourne University) came to London for the Vet's Head, and  was allowed to start in the HORR on account of the distance travelled, so our spares could have a row. We were marshalled with calm skill by Matthew Pinsent!