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A portion of Cane River will be closed to other boat traffic.
Rowing Crew will host St. Denis Head Race
Day-long event coincides with Family Day
Leah Jackson
09/06/2018

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s rowing team will host the St. Denis Head Race, a regatta for competitive rowing teams, Saturday, Oct. 6 on Cane River. Jason Stelly, head coach of the NSU Rowing Crew, expects about 10 teams to participate. The races are open to collegiate, junior and master rowing teams.

 Races will take place from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., headquartered on the riverbank in downtown Natchitoches. Spectators are welcome to attend any and all races during the day to watch, Stelly said. 

Cane River will be closed to all other boat traffic from the north dam to the Keyser Avenue/Pine Street Bridge Friday, Oct. 5 to allow for practice until the races are concluded Saturday.

A head race is a time-trial competition in which rowing crews vie to complete the course in the shortest time in their age, ability and boat-class category. The event is supported by the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission and the Cane River Waterway Commission.

Rowing crews are a familiar sight on Cane River. In addition to the NSU Crew, collegiate rowing teams from around the country annually visit Natchitoches during spring break for the calm water, affordable location and moderate temperatures. From 1993 to 2008, the NSU Crew hosted the Marathon Rowing Championship open to all sculling and sweep-oar boats that ran 26 miles from Melrose Plantation to downtown Natchitoches.

The NSU Crew is not unknown on the national rowing stage. NSU women won the program’s first conference championship two years ago and first medal in the American Collegiate Rowing Association National Championship Regatta by placing second.

The regatta will coincide with NSU’s Family Day, when families of students are invited to Natchitoches for tailgating and events surrounding NSU’s football matchup against Nicholls State University.

For information on registering a team for competition or for sponsorship information, contact Stelly at (318) 357-5462 or email stellyj@nsula.edu.