A huge thank you to all that attended our Head of River Race this year. Despite the challenging sea conditions the day ran smoothly and we had some fantiastic racing. Full results can be found here - HORR RESULTS 2015
Click here to see photos from the day, a big thanks to Louise Danks for these pictures.
Thanks to Christine Winans for the following report:-
On Saturday 10th October a exciting fleet of 34 gigs, 10 flash boats and skiffs, and one Dragon Boat gathered at the Helford Passage for the annual four-mile long ‘Head of The River Race’ (HORR) which is organised by Helford Gig club each October. The event has become more popular each year, and this year proved to be the most exciting yet with clubs travelling to the event from as far away as Bristol and Lyme Regis.
Preparations started early in the day as a mammoth two-hour pre-race operation saw all of the boats moved around to the picturesque Pedn Billy Beach, in order to avoid launching the race into the swells beating onto the beach in front of the Ferry Boat Inn. At 3:00pm the boats were launched in preparation for the start at 3:30pm. The start sequence commenced with the flash boats and skiffs being the first off, followed by the gigs and finally the Exe-Calibre Dragon Boat, all of which had been handicapped on start time according to age, gender and experience of the crews on-board.
The race was dramatic from the start, which was based at the entrance to Port Navas Creek. The main gig fleet raced up the course towards the mouth of the Helford towards the infamous ‘Narrows’ where tide and waves met, creating challenging conditions for the rowers. A sharp turn around a mark saw several gigs clash, oars raised out of the water to clear the other boats as the fleet converged before once more gathering speed down-wind towards the finish line at Gweek. During the 30 to 40-minute row the smaller flash boats and skiffs maintained their lead, their light weight favoured by the easterlies pushing down the river. The main fleet of gigs were in hot pursuit, providing a spectacular sight as battles took place between groups of boats throughout the course, whilst the noise of the Dragon Boat drums sounding increasingly louder as they gained on the main fleet.
Watched by a crowd of supporters at Gweek Quay the first boat to complete the race was skiff number 47 rowed by Tony and Jan Halliday, finishing the course in 32:55mins. The fastest small boat along the course was the flashboat raced by Trelawney Rowing Club completing the race in 29:31. ‘Exe-Calibre’ Dragon Boat stormed down the river in a time of 26:40, and the first gig across the line was Truro in ‘Royal', with the fastest gig being ‘Governor’ from Falmouth gig club in a time of 35:49.
A prize-giving ceremony and a party followed at the Helford River Gig Club in Gweek, provided a fun and relaxing end to the exciting day. Three crews from Helford are now looking forward to competing in the Two Castles Race in Falmouth on the 24th October.