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Cygnet Rowing Club
on the Tideway since 1890
CSSC Sports and Leisure

Head race boating

FOURS HEAD weekend: Please read this important INFORMATION UPDATE below regarding boating

Civil Service Boating 2020 Head Races  

Like much of the rowing community on and off the Tideway we are anxiously awaitingthe further announcements about one the biggest weekends in the rowing calendar for Fours and Vets Fours Head Races in late November.

As with other clubs across the country we have been working hard to maintain access to the sport whilst remaining safe and secure for participants, volunteers and our wider community. This includes our preparations for the planned racing events. As a club we are desperate to race and to support other clubs who donít have access to the Tideway to do so as well, for the good of the sport, the events and athletes from across the country.

A number of clubs have been in contact already to register interest in boating from the Civil Service Boathouse. We encourage all clubs to register interest ahead of further event announcements but (subject to the event specifications) we expect that we will only have capacity for an exceptionally small number of clubs and crews relative to previous years to ensure we can main appropriate safety on club and public land.

All clubs must register their intention to boat from the club and receive written confirmation in advance of entering Cygnet RC as a boating location for the event. Clubs who do not pre-register and have the boating request confirmed will not be permitted to trailer or boat at the club for these events.

We will provide an update on capacity and acceptance of boating following announcements by the race organisers. Visiting clubs will have access to temporary toilet facilities but there will be no changing room, clubhouse or catering facilities on race days in line with British Rowing and Government guidelines (excluding access in emergencies or exceptional circumstances).

We regret that our boating offer in capacity and substance will be much more limited this year, but we hope and trust that our friends from across the rowing community will know like many others we are trying to make the best of the current circumstances whilst keep visiting crews and our club members as safe as possible. We hope our normal service and facilities will resume with gusto in 2021.

For now, please continue to contact boating[at]cygnet-rc[dot]org.uk or use the Contact Form (button below). Please be patient while we await announcement from race organisers and if visiting from elsewhere, consider contingency and alternative arrangements given the anticipated reduced capacity in the forthcoming events.

With best wishes to you all, Cygnet Rowing Club

Boating Diagram

Steers and coaches from non-tideway club, your crews must familiarise themselves with the Tideway Code before going afloat.

Please click on the diagram below to enlarge for detailed instructions on parking, rigging and boating


Traffic Management

Please note that the Local Authority are increasingly strict about traffic and parking on Dukes Meadows during Head Races. 

Marshals are in place to help so please obey their instructions: they are not trying to be obstructive but are trying to ensure that Dukes Meadows remains open for Head Race boating by meeting the council's requirements. You cooperation and understanding is much appreciated. 

Full Traffic Management Plan (pdf)

Important Information
  • Please read this excellent article on what to expect from the Tideway
  • Bring wellies if you don't want cold, wet feet
  • The marshals are there to help, please follow their instructions
  • Please boat promptly when instructed and observe the 2m distance rule between boats
  • Join the boating queue with your bows facing forward (i.e. towards Barnes Bridge), unless otherwise instructed
  • Please don't cover the hard in blades, it slows down boating and they may get damaged. They may also float away on a flood tide!
  • Portable toilets are provided on Dukes Meadows for most big Head Races
  • Please use the litter bins provided Ė or take your litter home

Head Race Boating Enquiries


The Civil Service Boathouse,
Riverside Drive,
Dukes Meadows,
W4 2SH

2020 Tidal predictions (pdf)