Hundreds take to the River Yare for race
13:46 28 February 2014
Flooding across the UK has meant more than 500 rowing athletes from as far afield as Worcestershire will take to the River Yare this weekend.
Norwich Rowing Club is set to host its annual Head of the River Race tomorrow and members will be welcoming more than 20 visiting clubs from across the country.
Spectators are also invited to join the fun, with the best viewing points at The Water’s Edge pub at Surlingham and at Whitlingham Green just beyond the country park.
Four races will take place between Surlingham and Whitlingham Lane, with the Division 1 short course for juniors starting at 10.30am and the long course starting at 10.45am.
Division 2 – for less experienced rowers – has a short course starting at 2.15pm and a long course starting at 2.30pm.
“We are really excited, it’s going to be a big event,” said Nick Francis, chairman of Norwich Rowing Club.
“We have got significantly more people taking part than we have in recent years – including Stourport Boat Club who are travelling the best part of 200 miles to be there, which is pretty much unheard of.”
Flooding over the last few months has left many UK rivers too dangerous to row on and led to high-profile races being cancelled.
Clubs have also missed out on vital training opportunities, with some having to use the Olympic rowing lake at Dorney and others even travelling abroad.
So when Norwich Rowing Club extended an invitation for others to take part in tomorrow’s race, their offer was snapped up by teams wanting to train and compete.
The club saw an increased interest in rowing after 2012 Olympics, with 250 people turning up to try out the sport. Spectators will also be able to cheer on local clubs Yare Boat Club, the University of East Anglia, Norwich School and Beccles Rowing Club. “If people would like to come out and stretch their legs and have a walk along the river, then come along to this event,” said Mr Francis.
“It’s something to see and enjoy – and people will be welcomed at the clubhouse all day.”
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