Saturday 8th November 2008 saw the Fuller's Fours Head taking place on the tidal Thames between Chiswick and Putney. The race is on the same course as the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race but is run with the stream instead of with the tide and has 500 crews racing.
Minerva was represented by a Men's Senior 2 Coxless Four and a Women's Senior 2 Quad. Minerva was also listed in a third crew which was a composite of Army, Bath Uni and Minerva rowers. In the end though, no Minerva rowers were in this crew.
The conditions were forecast to be pretty awful around Hammersmith with 20mph winds blowing from Fulham Football Club all the way up the straight to Hammersmith. In the end though, the conditions were pretty good as the wind wasn't as strong and the rain wasn't as heavy as forecast.
Top honours go to the Women's Crew of Lucy, Vicky, Gemma and Helen who overtook 11 other crews on their way to winning the Senior 2 pennant, beating 39 other crews in their event and a number of Elite Crews as well. They finished 137th overall, were the 5th fastest women's boat and were only beaten by Olympic and World Championship level athletes.
The men's crew of Matthew, Ross, Jake and Alex gained valuable racing experience in their event finishing 335th overall and 40th in their event.
All of the results can be found here: http://www.hor4s.org.uk/results.htm
Pictures of the winning crews here: http://www.hor4s.org.uk/2008winners.htm
All of the girls are athletes on the Amateur Rowing Association's World Class Start Scheme sponsored by Siemens, a unique talent identification and development scheme. The programme is funded by UK Sport with Lottery money and since 2006 is sponsored by Siemens. The programme at Bath has identified four athletes for Great Britain teams in the past four years including one U23 World Champion. The athletes in Bath train at the University of Bath and at Minerva Bath Rowing Club. For more information on this article or the World Class Start Programme please contact Paul Stannard, Performance Development Coach, GB Rowing: email@example.com