SCHOOL ROWING: THE King's School had their best finish for years in the Schools' Head on the Thames from Chiswick Bridge to Putney.

Against the top rowing schools, King's senior eight, having struggled in the wake of a significantly slower St Edward's boat, came home in fourth place, behind Eton, Shrewsbury and Abingdon.

They finished fourth of the 251 boats on the day and also fourth in their 35-strong individual category. This was the school's highest placing for many years and continues its improvement from seventh last year and 15th in 2003.

The J15 first eight couldn't emulate last year's result with a win, but they did produce a respectable fourth-place finish in a group of 28, just one second behind Shrewsbury.

The second J15 eight, despite a last-minute substitution due to illness and having to cope with a seat coming off its runner, were fifth in a category of 11

The girls' quad continued the theme of improving on last year's placings by coming home in sixth equal position (11th in 2004) with a convincing performance, despite a congested bend at Hammer-smith where they had to overtake several crews.

Over the shorter 2.5-mile course, the J14 first octuple improved on last year's seventh position by coming third out of 23.

The J14 second octuple, which King's did not contest last year, also performed well to finish fifth out of 13.

Considering that this was their first year of rowing, unlike their main rivals who had been rowing for one or two years longer, these were creditable performances and were in line with what the more senior crews were achieving at the equivalent period in previous years.