The Natchitoches Riverfront was the scene of an intense competition as seven teams with over 150 rowers battled it out for top honors at the second annual St. Denis Head Race Saturday November 9. In a head race, the rowers are racing against the clock with the fastest time in their age, ability level and boat class determining the winners. Prior races on the Cane were races in which boats directly competed against each other. Natchitoches’ Cane River provides a superb environment for the sport and has become a prime destination for rowing teams from different areas of the country to come to Natchitoches to practice and compete. Teams from northern schools come to the Cane River to practice when winter conditions at their home schools preclude time on the water at home. Rowing is a boon to the area economy.
The seven teams came from as far as Kansas’ Wichita State University to race. Wichita State was joined by a club team from Tulsa, Oklahoma in claiming the farthest distance traveled honors. Other teams competing were: The Rowing Club of the Woodlands, Tulane, Rice University, a club team from Dallas and the hometown favorite, the NSU Crew team. The NSU Demon boats were cheered on by a large contingent of students, families, former rowers and local residents.
The St. Denis Head Race is well on its way to becoming a fixture on the Natchitoches scene. The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the event photography. Any of the visiting teams and their families are welcome to download any they wish.