Women’s Head Report 2023

Women’s Head Report

Brookes took five eights to the Women’s Head of the River over the weekend. With an entry of 299 crews it was set to be the first real test of where the Brookes Women ranked alongside the best crews in the UK this season. After a strong placing in last years race, the 1st VIII had a superb opportunity to set off No. 2 chasing Leander ‘A’. Having had such a successful winter to date, every athlete was eager to show off their hard work so far this season.

With some high class rowing the whole way down the course, the 1st VIII were able to take 3rd place finish overall. Alongside this, they also won the University and Senior pennants. They were over 15 seconds faster than the next fastest University crew and were in the mix with some of the best athletes in the country from Leander and the GB team.

The 2nd VIII bolstered by Irish National team athlete, Aisling Hayes, put in a fantastic row to finish in 8th position. This crew beat Cambridge University’s Blue Boat and finished behind only UL ‘A’ and Brookes ‘A’ in the University category. Finishing 15th last year, starting No. 11, this sharp rise in performance is a true testament to the hard work of the entire women’s group and the outstanding environment and attitude being set up by Women’s Coach, Hugo Gulliver.

The 3rd VIII placed a club record 13th , having placed 28th overall last year. The fastest University 3rd VIII in the race. The Brookes 4th VIII finished 39th, up from 55th in the first ever showing from a Brookes 4th eight in 2022. A further sign of the meteoric rise in strength and depth in the women’s program. In another first, Brookes fielded a 5th eight who finished 200th overall.

Some fantastic results for a very strongly motivated team – Brookes finished with fastest 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th university crews. This performance sets the women’s team up perfectly for their last week of the winter season as they head into the last fixture weekend for the Oxford Brookes team against Oxford University on Sunday. Preparations continue now to gather pace towards the San Diego Crew Classic and the rapidly approaching Spring.

📸 Photos courtesy of AllMarkOne