CHAMPIONS: St Luke's Anglican School's Laura Branch, Mercedes Thomas, Yvette Land and Charlotte Baldry competing in the Quad Skull at last year's Head of River. The school will defend the title again next month.
CHAMPIONS: St Luke's Anglican School's Laura Branch, Mercedes Thomas, Yvette Land and Charlotte Baldry competing in the Quad Skull at last year's Head of River. The school will defend the title again next month. Paul Donaldson BUN070517ROW4

New format for this year's Head of River

ROWING: The stakes will be higher this year when the Head of River is on next month.

The NewsMail can reveal this year's event will be different for the five schools that compete.

Schools previously competed in multiple rowing events during the day that all counted towards the title.

The school with the most points, from the events, won the title.

Now, just one race will decide the competition.

"It will be a mixed quad open race with two boys and two girls from each school competing,” Shalom College's rowing coach Rod Silcox said.

"They will race over 1000m in a winner takes all race.”

The original decision was to actually hold a mixed eight but with some schools having limited seniors the decision was made to make it a mixed quad.

Silcox said the decision was made by all schools and the Bundaberg Rowing Club to even up the competition after Shalom College and St Luke's Anglican School won the past 25 titles.

St Luke's is currently unbeaten in the past five events.

Now the others, including Gin Gin State High School, Bundaberg North State High School and Bundaberg State High School have a chance.

"That was part of the thought process for the decision,” he said.

"A fair few sports have done this move by going away from giving out a trophy for the overall winner to make it fairer and we have now done the same.”

The Head of River will also have a name change with the event to be called the Murchies Construction Head of River.

"They are a local business, happy to support us,” Silcox said.

The event will be held on June 9 and 10 at the Bucca Rowing Centre.

You can read about what the leaders of schools have to say in tomorrow's NewsMail.



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