UPDATE: The HoRR was abandoned this afternoon after about 75 crews had passed the finish line.
Today, at 14:15 (2:15 p.m.), it is time for the Head of the River Race (HoRR), when slightly more than 400 eights race the 4 1/2-mile course between Mortlake and Putney (the Boat Race course in reverse). The race was founded by the famous coach Steve Fairbairn in 1926. For more information and to see the start order click here. Follow the race on Twitter - @EightsHead
The other day, Peter Simpson of Vesta RC was looking through some old papers at Vesta and found some instructions for HoRR umpires from 1928. Peter sent it to HTBS, so we could share it with our many readers:
You have been appointed umpire at the above point for the Head of the River Race on Saturday, 24 March, 1928. It is suggested that Umpires should be in pair-oared or four-oared tub boats. They should be on their alleted stations at 3.0 p.m. All crews will have numbers in the bows of the boat, and the cox's back. When the race has started, umpires should if necessary warn coxswains who are obstruting the passage of an overtaking crew.
Boats being overtaken must be got out of the course of boats overtaking, so that the latter have a clear way through. Umpires must see that this is done. Any delay in obeying may lead to disqualification if the overtaking boat is forced out of its course, whether or not a clash takes place.
Umpires are also requested to warn river traffic that the race is coming down, and so help clear the course. Your presence is requested at Westminster Bank Rowing Club, Putney at 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday, 20 March, when a meeting of officials will take place. Every umpire's boat must carry a flag. This is at the request of the Port of London Authority.
Great stuff, Peter ~ thank you for sharing!
And then we have some moving pictures that Tim Koch found on British Pathe, from the 1931 race and the 1932 race - enjoy!