Major regatta to round out season

The Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta will be held this weekend. (Supplied) 272820_01

Ash Bolt

A big season of schoolgirl rowing on the Barwon River is set to culminate this weekend with the Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta.

More than 2200 schoolgirls from 45 schools across the state will flock to Geelong for the three-day regatta from Friday, March 18 to Sunday, March 20 to compete in 51 events on the river.

Rowing Geelong president Sam Elliott said he was pleased to see numbers up from last year and looking forward to having a full crowd back along the banks of the Barwon River.

“Whilst numbers have been down across the board for rowing as a sport throughout and post COVID, we’ve enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence here in Geelong,” he said.

“All our regattas this season have attracted more competitors than last.

“If you ask anyone around rowing, they’ll tell you they love coming down to Geelong to compete on the Barwon River. We have a safe and fair course and spectators love being able to view the racing the length of the course from both banks.”

The regatta has been held on the Barwon River since 1987 and injects around $2.5 million into the local economy each year, with the organising committee committed to hosting the event in Geelong until at least 2024.

In the main races, the female school eight open division one will be hotly contested between Melbourne schools’ St Catherine’s School, Melbourne Girls Grammar School and Wesley College.

Kardinia International College looks to be in with a good chance in the female school quad scull open division one while Geelong College rower Issy Batrouney is a favourite to take out the female school single open division one.

Racing will start at 8am on Friday and finish with the final of the female school eight open division one around 4pm on Sunday.

There will be some traffic management changes over the weekend to ensure safety, with Victoria Police sharing on social media a section of Barrabool Road between Quarry Close and High Street, Belmont would be closed to eastbound traffic from 7am-6pm on Saturday and 6.30am-5.30pm on Sunday.