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Coxing maestros of the Tideway

The cox can make or break a head race on the Tideway. Katie Smith asks three head-race winning coxes to share their secrets

“Calm, and very skilful,” was all that cox Harry Brightmore uttered going through the start line as he guided his Oxford Brookes crew onto an historic Head of the River Race victory in 2016.

Even for the most experienced coxes, passing under the darkened arches of Chiswick Bridge into the unpredictable waters of the Thames Tideway can be daunting indeed.

“I think it’s the sheer scale of the event that makes it different from other races,” says Wallingford RC cox Sara Ball. “The width of the river is so large compared to where I usually train.”


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