Tomorrow, 36 members of UCLBC will take to the Tideway to race at the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race, alongside 318 crews not only from the UK, but all over the world. WEHoRR is, in essence, the culmination of the Winter Head season, the race to which all those ergs, water sessions, weights and circuits have been leading. Crews have been selected, training done and race plans made. Now every hour, every minute, every moment leads to the Head.
This year UCL has four crews entered into the Women’s Head, more than ever before with the promise of the best result UCL has ever achieved. First to start, at number 41, will be the Senior Women who race in the IM3 category. The girls have raced in the same crew for the whole Head season and have already achieved some impressive results, finishing third in their IM3 category at Quintin Head and second women overall at UH Head. This year, they hope to achieve a top 50 finish at WEHoRR.
There are three UCL Novice boats racing at WEHoRR this year, all of whom only started rowing in October and have since gone on to show their commitment and drive to earn a seat in a boat. The Novice first boat, starting at number 289, have shown promise in training and races and hope to improve on last year’s result by more than 30 places. The competition for one of those eight seats in the boat has been fierce, and the eight selected girls go in to the race with confidence and excitement. The Novice second and third boats, at numbers 310 and 316, have also raced well this season. Having placed second and third in the invitational novice eights category at UH Head, the girls are ready for their first WEHoRR.
So now, as we sit down to platefuls of carbs, our kit washed and ready, alarms set, all that is left to do is dream of bridges and pushes for 10, of water moving swiftly below us as we cross the finish line knowing we could not have done anything more. Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, it is only one race. But for the 9 girls in each of those boats it is a chance to prove that every early morning, every session in the freezing cold and snow, all 90 reps of leg press and all 5000m of those erg tests were worth it.
Good luck to everyone racing. Here’s to a marvellous day for the UCL girls!
Athena Mellor, Fundraising & Publicity