Head of the Welland - Five Bridge Classic - September 27
The Head of the Welland has been taking place for 10 years and is truly becoming a must attend event. Head races are time trial / processional races that typically take place in the autumn or early spring (depending on local conditions). Boats begin with a rolling start at intervals of 10 – 20 seconds and are timed over a set distance in the case of the Head of the Welland - 5.2km. The oldest, and arguably most famous, head race is the Head of the River Race, founded by Steve Fairbairn in 1926 which takes place each March on the river Thames in London, United Kingdom. The Head of the Charles Regatta held each October on the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts, USA is now the largest rowing event in the world. The fastest crew is awarded the title Head of the River (as in “head of the class”, or in Welland’s case “Head of the Waterway”). The 5.2 kilometre race on the waterway takes athletes through the heart of Welland, traveling under five different bridges that span its banks. Annually, the Head of the Welland attracts about 1,000 athletes and an additional 400 spectators/ parents / coaches from Ontario, New York State, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The subtle twists and turns of the waterway, punctuated with its multiple and sizeable bridge abutments makes for exciting racing and risk reward areas for passing slower crews. The Head of the Welland is hosted by the South Niagara Rowing Club.