Wycliffe Big Head 2018 – Review

With Wycliffe Small Boats Head having been cancelled in early December due to some issues with maintenance of the area surrounding the club, there was a certain amount of anticipation among the local clubs for Wycliffe Big Boats Head which was held on Saturday 3rd February. Although it’s almost double the length of the December race at 4500m long, and heads in an opposite direction from the club, it could be said that this race was the simpler one with far fewer bends to negotiate and low bridges to duck under!


Despite storm warnings having been issued for the weekend and very strong winds expected on the relatively exposed course, on Saturday, the weather was wet (and very muddy!) but far stiller than it was thought it would be. This meant that as long as the rowers could cope with the coldness, the race would be a manageable one without huge difficulties with the steering. In general, although the weather conditions weren’t as bad as expected, they also weren’t as nice as last year when they were very sunny but cold. In the 2nd division, it was the pre-racing and post-racing parts of the event that caused the most problems with the area around the landing stages getting very muddy and slippery.


With 20 clubs and 141 crews racing, there were some very competitive moments throughout the day. St Georges College and the King’s School Worcester each entered the 15 boats into the event which was the largest number of boats from one club while A.B. Severn received the most wins for number of boats entered. The King’s School, Chester received 6 wins out of the 14 boats they entered which I imagine they will be pleased about especially considering that they travelled the furthest out of all the clubs to get to the race.


The fastest time of the day was 14.29.3 by Shiplake college in the Op J18 8+. This category as a whole produced all of the fastest times with quite a large lead over the times of all the other categories. The fastest women’s crew of the day was from Cheltenham Ladies College with their J16 quad and a time of 17.51. Some other key wins include a win by T. Mitchell’s quad from A.B. Severn in the Op J18 4x-, a victory from Shrewsbury School in the W J18 4x- and another win for A.B. Severn boys in the Op J16 4x-. The wins from this event for all crews will have set them up nicely for races to come as the racing season progresses throughout the year and this event will have been a great start to the 2018 races for many clubs.


Full results can be found here.