The NUI Galway Head of the River course extends from Lough Corrib to just downstream of the Quincentennial Bridge, and is best viewed from the University campus, upstream and downstream of the bridge. The NUI Galway Head of the River is run on a time-trial basis, with the fastest crew over the course in each category winning the pennant, and the title "Head of the River".
The main event will be the Men's Senior Eights, for the Gerry Colgan Memorial Trophy. The top category will be hotly contested, with the home club (winners in 2006) likely to be severely tested by a visiting crew from Molesey Boat Club in the UK. The Molesey crew contains two Olympic Gold Medallists (the legendary Searle brothers) as well as other Olympic and World Championship medallists from Britain, USA and Australia. This all-star line-up is by some way the most decorated crew to have ever competed in Ireland.
Also visiting from the UK will be Latymer Upper School, from Hammersmith, London, who will compete in the Junior Men's categories, where they will face stiff opposition from the local junior strongholds, St Josephs and Coláiste Iognáid, as well as Tribesmen and Galway Rowing Club.
In addition to the overseas entries, crews from all over Ireland will be taking part, in what should be a great day's racing, and a fantastic spectacle.
This year the organisers have introduced a new format for the event, with dedicated lanes on the river for crews making their way to the Start, and for crews racing downstream. This will lead to a better spectacle for spectators, with all the different boat classes being run at 5 minute intervals over two sessions, from 10:00 to 12:00 & from 14:00 to 16:00. Live commentary will be provided, and the results of each event will be announced within minutes of the crews completing the course.
Photo © Ian McDonald 2007