Putney’s Rowing History

Putney is renowned for its prominent role in the sport of rowing, hosting some of the most esteemed rowing clubs in the UK. London Rowing Club, founded in 1856, and Thames Rowing Club, founded in 1860, have been instrumental in producing several Olympians and World Champions, such as Sophie Hosking, who won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Lightweight Double Sculls, Mark Aldred, who participated in the Lightweight Men’s Four in Rio, and Jess Eddie, who won a silver medal in Rio with the Women’s Eight.

The Tideway in Putney is home to numerous major international rowing competitions, such as the Head of the River Race series including Men’s Head, Women’s Head, Schools and Veterans, which attract hundreds of teams from all around the world. The Head of the River races finish in Putney.

The dates for 2024 are:

  • Saturday 9 March – Women’s Eight Head of the River
  • Wednesday 20 March – Schools Head of the River
  • Saturday 23 March – Head of the River Race (Men’s)
  • Sunday 24 March – Veterans Head

Putney’s most famous rowing event is The Boat Race which starts in Putney. Each year, the Boat Race teams race along the 4.2-mile course from Putney Bridge to Chiswick Bridge, drawing viewers from all around the globe.

In 2024 it will be held on Saturday 30th March (Easter Saturday). The Women’s race starts at 14.46 and the Men’s race at 15.46.

The Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Races, dating back to 1829 and 1927, respectively, are among the most historic sporting events worldwide. The men’s race was relocated to the current Tideway course in 1836, while the women continued to compete in Henley, wearing full-length skirts, and the initial races were determined based on “time and style,” with the two crews not allowed to race side-by-side.

In 2015, history was made as both the men’s and women’s Boat Races were held on the same day and on the same stretch of water along the Thames in London, marking a significant milestone in the sport’s history.

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