St. Michael’s Rowing Club will once again host a major rowing event in Limerick City Centre with the annual Head of the River taking place on Saturday 21st March. The March time trial race is the first of three award winning sporting events run by St. Michael’s, along with their pioneering Masters Regatta held in August and the 5km and 10km Urban Run in October.
The time trial race was moved from the O’Briensbridge location two years ago and proved to be a huge success in its inaugural year in the city centre location when over 70 crews raced over a tough 5.5 km route from downriver to the club. The club made optimal use of their O’Callaghan Strand clubhouse with the floating pontoon and club house facilities for catering and entertaining. The club will once again partner up with Limerick City and County Council to allow competing clubs and spectators to park in the Cleeves Car Park. The Council’s ongoing support is vital in running the events in the city.
Head of the River Chairman Kevin O’Connor has been the driving force in bringing the event back to the city centre location and has said that the event could not take place without the ongoing support of local Limerick businesses helping St. Michael’s champion Limerick City as a sporting powerhouse as well as St. Michael’s volunteer members.
“Treaty City Brewery are on board again as the main sponsors of our 2020 Head of River. Backed up by Sherry FitzGerald Limerick, our sponsors of the Urban Run, The Commercial Bar, our sponsor of the Masters Regatta and individual race sponsors Bowe Dental, Powerhouse Sports, ROWfit, Titan Sports, Fillipi Boats, D.Wall Boat Racing Repairs and club president Mike O’Dwyer. We are bringing the focus back onto competitive racing in the city and the feedback we have had from crews if very positive”.
The clubhouse and surrounding area will be a hive of activity from 2pm as crews prep the boats, ready to launch on the water from 3.30pm, rowing down river for a 5pm start. The time trial is a unique event where all crews will head to the start and crews left off one by one to chase down the leading crews.
Live feeds of the timing splits with leader boards for each category will be online and displayed in the clubhouse. Best viewing will be from Barrington’s Pier where spectators will be able to see over 700m of racing from down river, past the pier, and on into the city centre.
The clubhouse will be open from 2pm with the catering crew on hand with piping hot toasties, soup, teas and coffees, ready to feed the crews as they come off the water from the finish line. Prize giving will take place after the race in the clubhouse with three trophies up for grabs:
- Jim ‘Monty’ Ahern Memorial Trophy for best overall men’s club
- Ailish Sheehan Memorial Trophy for best overall women’s crew
- James Brinn Memorial Trophy for fastest overall crew
Club President Mike O’Dwyer is looking forward to welcoming everyone to the event; “We have the best of facilities here in the club and a fantastic stretch of the Shannon for racing. I’m looking forward to taking to the water with all the competitors in St. Michael’s own Masters Crew”.