On Sunday 25th February, the 2018 Hammersmith Head was set to take place; yet due to severe conditions the Head was cancelled.

Early on Sunday morning, rowers and supporters eagerly waited along both sides of the River Thames. Yet by mid-morning experienced, novice and junior crews alike were all growing increasingly worried, as waves began to break towards the centre of the river. A brisk wind and bitterly cold temperatures proved tough for most rowers, as they carefully rigged their boats, ran through their ranging race strategies and immersed themselves in their individual pre-race rituals. Yet shortly after the first crews boated, and began to row up to Chiswick Bridge, Hammersmith Head was called off due to 'conditions deteriorating around the Mortlake area' - according to the official Hammersmith Head twitter account. This inevitably meant an early de-rigging of boats and multiple boatloads of disappointed rowers. 

Like many other schools, Hampton School was set to participate in the Head. They were also set to start rowing up to Chiswick from St. Paul's School in Barnes; arguably one of the most treacherous parts of the course on Sunday, due to the easterly wind whipping up sizeable waves. Freddie Rees, a 14 year-old who would have been representing Hampton School, expressed how he felt about not being able to race; 'the whole crew were disappointed not to race as it would have been great practice for Schools Head. Also, we wanted to see how well we could perform - especially in tougher conditions. However the course wasn't safe, so I can accept the decision made'. This process of thought seemed to be emulated along the river, as rowers, coaches and supporters all appeared fustrated.

Hammersmith Head is usually a great spectacle, with over 120 crews in attendance - competing at a range of levels and age groups. It also attracts an energetic crowd; who line up on each side of the river and squabble for a place on Hammersmith Bridge, the end of the 2 3/4 mile course. Of this 2 3/4 mile stretch, the pivotal distance between Chiswick Pier and St Paul's was considered too dangerous. Unfortunately, Hammersmith Head is unlikely to make a reappearance in this calendar year. This is because multiple other important Heads will be hosted along the infamous tideway this upcoming month, so it couldn't be rescheduled before regatta season.