Head of the Cam, 2018

The Head of the Cam, 2018 has just finished. All breathe a sigh of relief that it passed off smoothly, and head home to relax in front of the fire, lounge in the bath, and / or drink large gins.

Here we see our happy winners: Nines M1 (9:02, fastest men) and Cantabs W1 (9:57) joinly holding the Head of the Cam shield that we / the CRA really must get updated some year.

There's an archive of the 2018 HoC web page in the just-post-race state here.


Everything was pretty smooth this year, with no great alarums or excursions, with the exception of an ejector crab on Jesus W1, which they'll doubtless be happy to have got out of their system before bumps. We weren't a BR race, but nonetheless had visitors from Isle of Ely and Loughborough. The weather was frankly not up to scratch, being cold, grey, and at least for division 1 somewhat rainy; I'll be having a word with the appropriate authorities about that.

If anyone has any feedback for improving things, we'd be glad to hear it: headofthecam@gmail.com will reach us.


This year's innovation was the use of Rowclock as a shadow timing system. Our results on Rowclock are here. However, the definitive results are stop-watch-and-paper recording, and are here. In many ways Rowclock is more convenient: there is no tedious transcribing of scribbled-on-paper results, and less possibility of error. In several cases comparing Rowclock and stopwatch timings made it easy to see data entry errors (that would have been caught, more painfully, later). In two cases a more stubborn disparity was eventually resolved in favour of Rowclock after very careful examination of our paper. And in one case, in div 4 when I was in a hurry, a 20 second disparity was resolved simply by trusting Rowclock.

Rowclock could have made my job of doing the Masters categories easier, except it's system for handling masters entries is a little clunky: it requires you to decide the class amalgamation in advance; changing it in arrears is painful. And It makes amalgamating, say, Mays 2 and Mays 3 difficult. Or so I found; I may have missed Better Ways. So in the end I did amalgamation and masters by hand in Google Dox, which is slightly fraught and require experience or time to get right.

One point to note is that the Rowclock and stopwatch timings differed, by a small but clearly non-random amount, that needs investigating. If I find out what caused that, I'll update this post.