Rowing Contributed

Rowers flock to the Clarence for regatta double dose

ROWING: The boats have been prepped, the oars sharpened and the competitors hardened as the Clarence River prepares to host one of the biggest rowing regattas in regional NSW.

The rowing action will begin today with the annual Head of the River regatta followed by tomorrow's Grafton Rowing Club regatta.

The Head of the Clarence River Regatta, has attracted some of the top school rowing teams from New South Wales and Southern Queensland.

Teams from local area schools as well as the local rowers from Maclean, Grafton and South Grafton High Schools will also compete with many fresh from State and National championship tilts.

Although there will be 23 competing schools and 55 races - both up on last year - athlete numbers are slightly down to 264.

Racing is expected to commence in front of the Crown Hotel from 8am.

The event will culminate in the running of the Champion Schoolboy Eight with nine boats competing for champion glory.

This regatta is organised by a committee of senior rowers, with all profits from the event used to assist the Clarence's promising junior ranks.

The annual event is expecting to see a high influx of visitors to town giving a well received cash injection to the economy.

The boulevard at the end of Prince Street makes an ideal vantage point to view the racing. A volunteer BBQ will be run outside the rowing club headquarters opposite the crown from early morning.

Spectators have also been welcomed to return to the river front tomorrow as the club holds their annual regatta from 7.30am.

With 77 races, 317 athletes, 485 entries and 1008 seats the stage is set for another day of non-stop racing.

Many masters rowers from north of the border will journey down for the regatta as they face off against a strong local contingent.

Juniors and masters race a distance of one kilometre, while rowers from the under 17 and open divisions double that.

The club thanked many local businesses who have supported the regattas.

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