Flanked by Grafton Rowing Club vice-president Dennis Darke (left) and president Greg Thompson (right) Mayor Richie Williamson examines the work done on the riverbank outside the Grafton Rowing club.
Flanked by Grafton Rowing Club vice-president Dennis Darke (left) and president Greg Thompson (right) Mayor Richie Williamson examines the work done on the riverbank outside the Grafton Rowing club.

It's time to shine at regatta

ALL is in readiness for this weekend’s Head of the River Rowing Regatta and Grafton Rowing Club president Greg Thompson can’t wait to show off recent improvements undertaken by Clarence Valley Council to the riverbank outside the rowing club.

“The club would like to thank Mayor Richie Williamson and council for their efforts, support and assistance in the rectification of the river bank ... it looks fantastic,” Thompson said

The club’s vice-president, Dennis Darke, agreed with Thompson, and said the improvements in front of the club house had made a huge difference.

“We have had ongoing erosion problems for a couple of years,” Darke said.

“We tried various methods to rectify the problem and with the last flood it compounded it. Council got their engineers on board and they came up with a suitable method to rectify it and it has come up quiet well.”

It will be the 12th running of the event and Thompson said the Head of the River had come along way from humble beginnings.

“It started when I had the tile shop; an old bloke walked into the shop and said, ‘Greg, why is the river not used enough?’,” Thompson recalled.

“Anyway, we got together a committee of businessmen around Grafton and started rowing. Year after year people rowed for prize money, one year it was about $25,000 and the regatta has just got bigger each year.”

Thompson said he expected record numbers on the weekend with rowers travelling from New South Wales and Queensland.

The Head of the River kicks off early on Saturday with the annual Grafton Rowing Club Regatta taking place on Sunday.

“On Saturday we will be running about 75 events and on Sunday we have just on 100 races,” he said.

“Most of the big races will have nine boats across the river.”



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