2014 Abingdon Head of the River Rowing

April 6, 2014

Abingdon Head of the River
Members of Abingdon Rowing Club were working in the early hours making preparations, then welcoming and helping crews, for the 2014 Abingdon Head of the River rowing time trials.
Abingdon Head of the River
Rye Farm Meadow, where boats were brought, is still soft in patches having been under water a lot of the winter.
Abingdon Head of the River
The first of 4 divisions left the meadow before 9am to row downstream to the start near Culham weir. There were up to 90 boats in each division.
Abingdon Head of the River
Then at 9:30, 11:45, 14:00, and 16:15 boats raced upstream the 2000 metres to the finishing post, opposite Ferry Boat House on Wilsham Road.
Abingdon Head of the River
On the same day as the University Boat Race, which Oxford were to win, rowers gave their all.
Abingdon Head of the River
At Rye Farm Meadow where crews embarked and disembarked there was beer, homemade cakes, a BBQ, and entertainment by the Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers.

More pictures on Abingdon Blog Facebook.

Filed under: River Thames

8 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. steve King  |  April 7, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Brilliant event and a good example of how we as a town don’t make enough of the River< more please, how about a classic boat show like Henley's?

  • 2. Julian Annells  |  April 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I actually tried to get a night procession of illuminated boats (a bit like i’ve seen many years ago at Shillingford, I think it was?) in conjuction with the public firework display I was holding at the Abbey Meadows/Rye Farm. Unfortunately (and maybe it was because it was late in the year, i didn’t have one boat owner that was interested. I agree though, we don’t utilise our beautiful stretch of the Thames nearly enough!

  • 3. steve King  |  April 7, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Hi, don’t faint folks, but Vodafone have a planning application for signage at No 8 in the precinct, surely not a new shop ? yippee !

  • 4. Spike S  |  April 7, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Iluminated boats ? Keep trying Julian.
    Perhaps a bit late for this year but what about revisiting and old (Oxford) May Day prank with a duck race at Dawn. Instead of plastic ducks, use chamber pots with night lights in them ! Morris side on Abingdon bridge or at St Helens Wharf to give the event some class ?
    Perhaps Vodafone would sponsor it to curry favour in the town.

  • 5. Iain  |  April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Good to see the head race back in town – well done ARC

  • 6. Julian Annells  |  April 8, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Yes Spike. Sorry, I should have described it better. Similar to the floats that they have in the West Country carnivals. They deck the floats (trailers) out with as many lights as possible in a variety of colours/shapes. A fantastic spectacular!
    I thought Abingdon could have an annuall event with boats doing the same sort of thing (on a smaller scale obviously), the boats would then proceed slowly down the river and then back again. An event which would hopefully grow year on year and become a tourist attraction. Take a look at http://www.visitsomerset.co.uk search site for Wellington Carnival. People travel for miles to see it and stay over, thus increasing the towns that take part economies.

  • 7. Spike S  |  April 8, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    We appear to be at cross purposes, Julian.
    I’m well familiar with the Wescountry traditions and their cohorts of ‘hairy-fairies’. How much better to have floats that actually are afloat using water rather than road ? I agree wholeheartedly that using the Thames for a Carnival procession (of any sort) would capitalise on Abingdon’s greatest asset. At the right time of year, I expect many ‘passing-through’ boats could be induced to join in too. Keep trying (to make it happen)

    Any thoughts on the A-o-T equivalent of a Giant Pasty ?

  • 8. Iain  |  April 8, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Spike – in pepys’s diary when he refers to his visit to abingdon he was very complimentary about the quality of our custard. Might be slightly more interesting than a pasty!

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