The Erne Head of the River will welcome an exceptionally large entry of 91 boats and well over 600 rowers to Enniskillen on Saturday, March 4th. The race - the 60th - will be visible from the start point four miles downstream of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (ERGS) Boat Club with the best views from the Killyhevlin Hotel, riverside in Cornagrade and the finish line at Portora boathouse itself.
Beginning at 1.15pm, each craft will start at a 30 second interval on a race to the finish line at Portora boathouse. Men, women's and junior teams of all ages and abilities will set off in turn in a race against the clock. The 90 boats will stream over the finish line from 1.45pm; for some, setting new records and for others getting to the finish line, the main achievement.
Twenty eight clubs are represented at the event from all over Ireland, including a new club based on the Erne. The Portora Boat Club has been created by old Portorans and parents of rowers from ERGS and other Fermanagh schools continuing the traditions of the old Portora Boat Club. It will challenge at the Head of the River for the first time in the men’s masters.
The event is an opportunity for clubs to gauge their progress during winter training against that of the competition. The number of entries is up 30 on last year reflecting a significant increase in rowing numbers in Northern Ireland and across Ireland.