Women's Eight Head of the River Race

Navigation & Marshalling

Race Rules

All competitors should familiarise themselves with the marshalling and navigation instructions below. Coxes should take a copy of the Competitor Postcard with them on the day. These will be included in the Race Packs.

2024 Versions Now Live:

Competitor InformationNote this is v2 with an updated telephone number

Competitor Postcard

The tidal Thames is fast flowing. You must take care around all bridges and fixed or moored obstructions at all times. In the event of an equipment failure which compromises your ability to steer you should inform the nearest marshal who will provide appropriate assistance: do not attempt to start racing or complete the course.

The river is closed from ~1hr before the race until the last boat has crossed the finish line. The PLA has created a ‘how to’ guide for rowing on the Tideway; visit Boating on the Thames for more information. At other times and locations the usual navigation rules apply – these are available on the PLA website in English, French, German and Italian.

All coxes must be familiar with the Rowing Code of Practice for the Tidal Thames between Putney and Richmond before boating at any time. This is available on the British Rowing Thames Region website and is reviewed in the below video:


The PLA and Thames RC have produced Google Earth overlays showing the limits of the fairway, and the position of the navigation buoys on the course. Those unfamiliar with the Tideway may wish to note that the racing line is always contained within the limits of the fairway.
NB: You will need Google Earth to view the files below. Click here for more information.

Fairway limits (.kml download)
Buoys (.kml download)

Google Maps has ‘streetviewed’ the Tideway. Tour the course from the point of view of a launch – click here to access the map, which will put you on the river and ready for the start. If you’re a visiting crew and want to get a sense of what the course looks like, please have a look. They haven’t driven exactly on the racing line, but you won’t be too far wrong if you follow where their launch went.


It is part of the rules of British Rowing that any incidents that occur before, during and after the race are reported to British Rowing using the online reporting system here. Please also let the Committee know of any incidents that happen during the race.

If a crew or club is involved in a verifiable navigation incident on the Tideway in the fourteen days prior to and on the day of the race, British Rowing Thames Region will invoke its Policy for Breaches of Navigation. This may lead to the relevant club being declared unsafe by the Region, which will automatically result in the Club’s affiliation to British Rowing being suspended and make it impossible for the club to race. No refund can be provided if this occurs.

Racing on the Tideway requires a level of skill above rowing on most rivers. It’s important that all crews ensure that they have the relevant experience, knowledge and skill to be safe during the race.
If at any time the Committee are concerned about the competence of a crew to be safe on the river, the Safety Advisor will take action and may instruct the crew to leave the water at the nearest safe place or prevent the crew from taking part in the race. No refund will be provided.

Please race safely and be courteous of other crews around you.

If you have any comments and suggestions about any aspect of the race, please email eventsec@wehorr.org.