Note to British Captains 2019


Clubs are reminded that the HORR Committee does not permit boats with front-loaded coxes in the Race.

In view of the nature of the course, the character of the Race and safety considerations you are strongly urged to ensure that inexperienced coxes are placed with experienced crews and vice versa. Captains of clubs are responsible for ensuring that all coxswains have appropriate experience and knowledge to undertake coxing on the Tideway; a minimum age of 14 is normally expected.
The HORR Committee strongly recommends that crews of Veteran B classification and higher should consider entering the Vesta International Veterans’ HOR instead and for reasons of capacity any such entries to HORR may be refused.

If weather and/or river conditions are poor, but not bad enough to force cancellation, the Committee may decide to hold the Race over a shorter course, and possibly with fewer crews.

You are very strongly recommended to ensure that all coxes have watched the video “Coxing a Tideway Head“. It can be viewed online on this site.


Clubs’ attention is drawn to the warnings in the Marshalling Instructions. No allowance will be made for crews arriving late at the start by reason of using a boat twice.


  1. The Crew Lists must be submitted, via the British Rowing On-line Entry system ONLY by British and Welsh clubs. Scottish clubs must also use on-line entry but – if not already registered – will have to contact British Rowing via e-mail, with club details and saying that they wish to enter The Head of the River Race. They will then be set up as users, and given all relevant log-in information.

“Priority” information. Crews must be designated “1”,”2″,”3″, etc. – NOT A, B, C…. or I, II, III…. Bearing in mind that many clubs are affected by the Draw, crews should be entered in order of priority rather than status; for example if a low-pointed crew is to be preferred over a higher-pointed one for a place, the lower crew should be crew “1” and the higher

Registration; all competitors representing British Rowing and Welsh Rowing clubs must be properly registered, and similarly all members of Scottish crews must be registered with Scottish Rowing (British Rowing Rules 2-1-1 & 5-1 d).

Scottish clubs only: To ensure that you are given the appropriate starting position, it is important that you provide a note of the SR points for each crew member.
To enable confirmation of registration numbers, when the entry is made all 9 (or 18 or…) pairs of names and numbers must be typed into the free-text “Notes” box next to the crew list. This is a condition of entry.

  1. The Committee will not accept an entry from any Club which it considers to be a subsidiary of or having common membership with another Club already making an entry for the Race. No entries from composite crews will be accepted.


The simplest and quickest method is to pay via BROE, either at the time of entry or as soon as possible afterwards. HORR also accepts direct inter-bank transfers, and the relevant details will be on the BROE site. If neither of these methods is possible a cheque for the relevant amount, in favour of “The Head of the River Race” – not “HORR”- should be posted as soon as possible to the Secretary at the address that appears below. An entry is incomplete until payment is received and therefore any entries for which payment has not been received by 25 February run the risk of rejection.

Subject to sections 1 and 2 above, and provided that entries complete in all respects are received by the closing date:

  1. (a) Should the total entry received exceed 400, third and subsequent entries from school clubs will not be accepted. If the remaining entry still exceeds 400:-(a) the first 280 crews in the 2018 finishing order will be entitled to a place in the 2019 Race.
    (b) all bona fide British Rowing/Scottish Rowing/Welsh Rowing-affiliated Clubs who enter but have no place under (a) will be given one place.
    (c) All crews who finished below 280 in 2018 and are not entitled to a place under (b) will go into a draw for the remaining places up to a limit of 400. The Draw for places will be held on Monday 11 March. Those British clubs affected by the draw will be e-mailed on or before noon on Tuesday 12 March with the result, and the full Start list will be on the website by noon on 16 March. Therefore if a club is expecting a notification and does not receive one before the Start list is posted, the e-mail address notified with the entry should be checked carefully.
  2. 2019 Start Order, classifications and related matters
    The start order will be compiled solely on the basis of each crew’s Ranking Points total as declared at the time entries close, except that the top 30 finishers from HORR 2018 will inherit that finishing place, subject to their Ranking Points not otherwise placing them below 60th in the PRI ranked start order.

British Rowing and Welsh Rowing Entries will be classified as follows:-
All crews will be designated as Academic or Club according to their grouping in the British Rowing Almanack. The first approx. 120 in the start order, plus approx. 30 overseas Scottish Rowing crews of a similar standard, will form the Championship Group of exactly 150 crews. These will form the first 3 divisions, marshalling as usual above Chiswick Bridge.

The remaining crews will be divided into two groups, Academic and Club, and ranked according to their RP totals (or equivalent for overseas & SR). Each group will then be cut off after the 50th-ranked crew, and be arranged in the following start order:-
Division 4 – Academic (50 crews)
Division 5 – Club (50 crews)
Division 6 – Academic (variable size)
Division 7 – Club (variable size)If Divisions 6 and/or 7 will, if necessary, also be limited to 50 crews, with further crews forming a Division 8.

Competence. To ensure that a crew has a basic level of experience to cope with Tideway conditions, the following minimum totals will apply:-

British Rowing and Welsh Rowing
All Club crews, and School crews: a crew total of 20 RPs or more at Race Day.
University and College crews: a crew total of 20 RPs or more at Race Day – As some clubs in this group will compete only or mainly at non-BR events, we will accept narrative evidence of an equivalent performance. Such information must be e-mailed to the Hon Secretary at the time the BROE entry is submitted.

Scottish Rowing
All Club, School and University crews: individual rowers must have been registered with SR on or before 1 December 2018 OR have at least 2 SR racing points at Race Day.

A crew may be entered with fewer than the required number of points, in the expectation that it will earn enough extra between close of entries and Race day, but if it does not the entry will be refused. Any crew so affected will have its entry fee refunded.

Beginner classification. This is offered to crews composed of newcomers to the sport:-A crew may be entered with fewer than the required number of points, in the expectation that it will earn enough extra between close of entries and Race day, but if it does not the entry will be refused. Any crew so affected will have its entry fee refunded.

All GB Club crews and Academic school crews:- No member has been rowing for more than 12 months at the date of the Race.
All GB Academic University & College crews:- All crew members must have BUCS “Beginner” status
For both groups, it is compulsory that the cox has more than 12 months’ experience.

Note:- a) Participation in this classification requires a formal entry via BROE – it is not automatic
b) There is, clearly, an element of self-certification involved in entering, but the bona fides of all (apparent) winners will be formally checked before any award is made.

Please note carefully. It is, of course, expected that substitutions will be made between close of entries and Race Day, and that the RP total of a crew may go up or down, any such crew will simply start in its already-allocated place.

a) For some years, all overseas entries have had to self-declare their standard. This will again be used to allocate them to a starting place within the GB order.
b) The number of overseas crews of sufficient quality for Championship status will be known a few days before the draw is compiled – this figure will decide the exact number of GB crews in that group.

It is not necessary to provide subs.’ names at the time of entry, but you are reminded that if any are used registration numbers are compulsory.

  1. Lightweight event
    The Lightweight category is again being offered. The weight limit is set by British Rowing Rule 2-2-1 a; all crew members must be under 75kg. Weighing-in will be required about 2 hours before Race time at a designated location. Such crews may also enter an event such as University; if they fail to weigh-in, or do so overweight, they will still retain that entry.
  2. No Club may allow any of its places in the Race to be used by any crew from another Club, or allow any of its own crews to row in another Club’s place. Any crew found taking part in the Race contrary to this prohibition will be disqualified, and the Committee reserves the right to refuse entries from any offending Club for ensuing Races for such a period as the Committee may in its discretion decide. Do we need this? Already covered under 7-2-4


It is essential that before making an entry, arrangements must be made with a Tideway club – as early as possible – via e-mail or letter, their clear agreement obtained and their name notified in the relevant part of the on-line entry. Lists of visiting clubs will be closely checked as entries are received; if this section is left blank, or if the Tideway club named has not given its permission, the entry will be rejected.


The Race requires that you confirm that your club carries public liability cover for at least £1m (British Rowing Row Safe); this is usually incorporated in your club’s general policy, but you are strongly urged to consult your insurers if there is any doubt.


It is a British Rowing rule that ALL boats must display a standard 6-character boat identification. Further, it is compulsory for your boat to carry your club’s letters and a number whenever it is on the Thames, whether racing or not.


It is a condition of entry that all clubs have read and understand the contents of the HORR Welfare Policy and Plan 2019; by submitting an entry a club is accepting its conditions and requirements.


The co-operation of Clubs in this respect has been much appreciated and has enabled crews to boat and disembark with little delay, and to keep traffic flowing along the Embankment. However, only trailers with an official HORR pass may stop for unloading of boats and equipment and must then leave immediately. They will not be allowed to return until a given time. The Committee therefore strongly urges visiting Clubs to make arrangements in writing as soon as possible to boat from Clubs at Chiswick or Barnes, where there is more room than at Hammersmith or Putney. Clubs that require trailer parking permits will receive details in mid-March.

By submitting the entry, the Club’s representative is confirming the following:
1. I have read and understand the requirements of the BRITISH ROWING Row Safe Code, Rule of Racing 7-2-8, HORR Welfare Policy & Plan and the document “Rules of the Race 2019”.
2. I have read and accept the Regulations relating to the Draw in the event of over-subscription.
3. I accept that there will be little or no refund in the event of weather-related cancellation
4. I confirm that this Club has Public Liability insurance for at least £ 1m.
5. I confirm that all members of any crew entered for the University Prize are currently in statu pupillari at the university/college concerned.
6. I certify that all competitors are experienced to a sufficient standard to compete in this Race.
7. I certify that all the competitors named in the on-line entry and any accompanying form(s), and any substitute who may be introduced, are members of this Club which is a member by affiliation of British Rowing (or of Scottish Rowing / Welsh Rowing) and eligible to compete in the class for which they are entered.

Phelan Hill
Hon. Secretary