22 March 2016

Head of the River Regatta For nearly one thousand students from 15 South Australian secondary schools, months of early mornings and hard training sessions on land and water, were well rewarded with a place racing in the Head of the River.

The pinnacle event on the South Australian schools rowing calendar, hosted this year by Adelaide High School, included 24 races on the Alex Ramsay Regatta Course at West Lakes.

With the sun shining and the water beautifully flat Seymour College won the First VIII girls and St Peter’s College the First VIII boy’s races.

All 15 schools were proudly represented with other notable achievements being Prince Alfred College winning nine races on the day including the Second VII boy’s race and Unley High School winning seven races including the First IV boys and girls.

As Head of the River’s major sponsor since 2011 UniSA’s Chief Academic Officer, Professor Allan Evans presented many of the winning crews their impressive trophies and medals and described Adelaide High School’s hosting of the hard-fought event as having special historic significance.

“The Head of the River Regatta was founded in 1922 when St Peter’s College challenged Adelaide High School to a race in eights on the Henley course on the River Torrens,” Prof Evans says.

“The race was won by Adelaide High and from these small beginnings the event has grown into SA’s largest championship regatta which we saw in all its glory at this year’s event.”

Adelaide High Principal Anita Zocchi says the school is proud to be one of the two founding competitors of the Head of River Rowing Regatta.

“This historic event is always challenging and is eagerly anticipated by all South Australian Schools that take part in the school rowing program,” Ms Zocchi says.

“Since the very beginning the Adelaide High School Rowing Club has had numerous highs, winning the Gosse Shield for schoolboy eights at Head of the River in 1958 - the school's Golden Jubilee Year, and winning numerous SARA schoolboy and schoolgirl championships.

“Rowing is a wonderful team sport and the school is committed to providing all students with an opportunity to learn, develop and excel in the sport with many students from Years 8 to 12 actively training and representing Adelaide High in competitions.”

Around 10,000 people cheered on 529 female and 437 male athletes who Rowing SA Chief Executive Officer, David Hutton, says proudly represented their schools at this year’s Head of the River.

“All the schools involved in Head of the River put a great deal of effort into their rowing programs,” David says.

“An incredible number of hours are invested on and off the water by the athletes and the coaches - early morning and late afternoon sessions before and after school, all being juggled with study. 

“Both entries and attendances were very strong this year with the number of girls rowing on the increase.

“The addition of some new schools in recent years and growing programs in a number of other schools actually resulted in the number of girls’ entries surpassing the boys' entries for the first time in Head of the River history.”

Other schools competing were Christian Brothers College, Loreto College, Norwood Morialta High School, Pembroke School, Pulteney Grammar School, Saint Ignatius’ College, St Peter’s Girls College, Walford Anglican School for Girls and Wilderness School.

Prof Evans says the University is pleased to be part of the Head of the River Regatta, recognising the importance of the event to school communities and the opportunity it provides to students.

“The event encompasses many of the core values we support here at UniSA such as teamwork, healthy lifestyles and collegiate competition,” he says.

Head of the River is a truly spectacular community event with Rowing SA, schools, the Charles Sturt Council and UniSA working together to ensure a memorable regatta.

Bring on the 2017 season!

Media contact: Katrina McLachlan office +61 883020961 mob 0414972537 email katrina.mclachlan@unisa.edu.au

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