Pictured - B: Peter Summers, 2: Johnny Pemberton, 3: Chris Dalley, 4: Chris Etherington, 5: Carl Purchase, 6: Tim Crooks, 7: Hugh Matheson, S: Dick Lester, C: Robert Lee
Robert Treharne-Jones, Leander Club Archivist writes:
Founded in 1926 by the legendary Steve Fairbairn, the 4¼ mile Head of the River Race over the Championship course signals the end of the long distance steady-state training period before the regatta season gets under way, and this year marks 50 years since Leander first won the Head trophy in 1973. London RC were early winners for many years, while composite clubs like Barn Cottage and Tideway Scullers made their mark in the post-war years before Leander’s first win, and the newly-formed GB National Squad (albeit with several Leander men on board) won the lion’s share of pennants for many years. Fast forward to the new millennium, and Leander became the dominant force but, since dead-heating with Brookes in 2018, it’s the Oxford-based powerhouse which goes into this year’s race as reigning champions, with Leander looking to overhaul them with their 15th win in the history of the race on 18th March.