Baylor Crew will be hosting their annual Head of the Brazos rowing regatta Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in front of McLane Stadium on the Brazos River.
A USRowing registered regatta, the Head of the Brazos is a 5,000 meter head race hosted by Baylor Crew every fall for collegiate, junior, and master level rowers. With riverfront renovations completed at Cameron Park, and the new McLane Stadium on the banks of the Brazos, the Head of the Brazos offers a scenic waterway for rowers and spectators alike.
This regatta is the biggest fully student run regatta in the country! It was created and completely funded by Baylor Crew. The first Head of the Brazos, established by Matt Conlin and Christian Bjornnes, was held in 2004 at Brazos Park East where 130 boats from 19 clubs competed.
HOB was annually held on and off until 2014 when it was reestablished by Sam Putnam and Gretchen Mikulich. In 2014 the regatta became a US Rowing sanctioned regatta and was moved to its new home at the Baylor Crew Boathouse where over 190 boats raced from 17 crews.
HOB remains the only full 5 kilometer head race in all of Texas. No other established racing venue in Texas has a body of water that can support this size of race and accommodate as many crews. Support and encouragement from the rowing community has allowed for growth and improvement that is still felt today.
The races will take place along the Brazos River with spectator seating available from the pedestrian bridge.
Philomath, Ore., junior Annie Luksch, assistant coach, hopes for the pedestrian bridge to be filled with supporters.
“I think [having supporters] really helps the overall attitude of the team in a very positive way,” Luksch said. “Come by and cheer on your Baylor Bears!”
The regatta will consist of various boat races including four-member boats, eight-member boats, doubles and singles. Each boat will row a 5k distance.
Head of the Brazos will be one of the largest student run regattas in the nation. Hundreds of outside teams and clubs have signed up to be a part of the rowing event.
Woodlands senior Nick Fazzino, head coach, is ready for the competition.
“It is our first major regatta for the entire team this semester, so it’s going to show us how we stack up against the competition, which is some of the best collegiate competition in the south,” Fazzino said.