Black & white photo of an old Head of the River event

Head Of The River Race

The University of Reading’s prestigious annual ‘Head of the River’ race is due to be held on the River Thames in Reading on Saturday 25 February 2023.

Invite to the 14th Head of the River in 1950The race has been run by the students of Reading University Boat Club (RUBC) since 1935 and is the fourth oldest and largest ‘Head of the River’ race.

This year, more than 2000 competitors and spectators are expected to line the banks of the Thames to watch the race on the picturesque course, which follows the river downstream on the six kilometre stretch between Mapledurham and Caversham Locks.

With around 240 boats entering the race, you can expect to see crews from the top schools in the country, including Eton, Radley and Shiplake, as well as local clubs from Reading, Henley and Marlow who will be putting on a strong show. It goes without saying that crews from RUBC will also be keen to show their form and are hoping to gain from the home advantage.

This will be an exciting time for Reading’s student rowers as the race has been cancelled for four of the past five years due to the pandemic and flooding caused by wet winter weather.

Join us

Rowing boats on the riverJoin us on Saturday 25 February for an unforgettable day of racing. The first race starts at 10:30am at the Roebuck Ferry Crossing, Tilehurst, and finishes opposite the Reading University Boathouses in Caversham – a distance of around 4.6 kilometres.

RUBC would also like to invite Friends of the University, alumni, staff and any other supporters of rowing at the University of Reading to join us to watch the afternoon racing and enjoy tea and cake provided by our student rowers. If you would like to join us, there is no need to book. Simply join us at Reading Canoe Club, between 2-4pm.

Find out more information about ‘Tea by the Thames’.