The Head of the South Rowing Regatta is returning to the Savannah River for the 17th year when the boats hit the water Saturday.
The regatta is again centered at the Augusta Boathouse as the Augusta Rowing Club plays host to more than 500 entries from 54 clubs and 13 states.
“It’s as big or slightly bigger than last year,” regatta director Tim Jannik said. “The river should be in good shape. The weather is looking good and the water level is being raised a little, so it will be safe and sound. The river is perfectly calm right now and we’re expecting the same this weekend.”
The event draws many of the biggest rowing programs in the country and includes boats from the University of Georgia, Virginia Tech Crew, Wake Forest Rowing Club, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Palmetto Rowing Club, Louisiana State Rowing Club and Clemson University Rowing Association.
The Augusta Rowing Club also will be involved in 21 races, including two of the bigger morning events. The Men’s Club 4+ begins at 9:45 a.m., and the Men’s Junior Novice 4+ begins at 11:15.
“It’s pretty evenly split (between collegiate and junior),” Jannik said. “There will be a lot of competition. Any category should have multiple entries.”
The race runs downstream on a 5,000-meter course that starts at Hammond’s Ferry and ends just past the boathouse. Admission is free and spectators are welcome.