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Top NZ Secondary Schools to take part in Head of the Waikato

For Immediate Release

18 August 2014

Hamilton, NZ

Top New Zealand Secondary Schools to take part in the Gallagher Great Race’s Head of the Waikato Competition

Next month top New Zealand Secondary Schools will descend on Hamilton to compete in the ‘Head of the Waikato’ rowing challenge on Waikato River as part of the Gallagher Great Race Festival of rowing.

Once again, top crews from Auckland and Waikato will contest the coveted trophy on the 2.7km upstream river course.

Reigning champions Hamilton Boy's High School will be back to defend their title. The local boys’ school has won the trophy every year since the event’s inception - except in 2011 when they lost to Auckland Grammar.

Sacred Heart Girl's College will defend last year’s title against fierce rival Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, which had previously won the race every year up until 2013's epic showdown, which ended seven years of consecutive victories.

The public is encouraged to head down to the river bank to support the crews on race day.

The Gallagher Great Race is a free community event held from 12-14 September on the Waikato River in Hamilton. Finals are on Sunday 14 September.

‘Head of the Waikato’ Secondary Schools Competition 2014


Local: Hamilton Boys’ High School 1, Hamilton Boys’ High School 2, St John’s College, St Paul’s Collegiate

Auckland: Mt Albert Grammar, Auckland Grammar


Local: Hamilton Girls’ High School, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, Sacred Heart Girls’ College, St Paul’s Collegiate, St Peter’s School Cambridge

Auckland: Glendowie College, Epsom Grammar, Baradene College

Gallagher Great Race Waikato University rowers who have been involved with this event in the past are Shaun Kirkham and Caleb Shepherd (Hamilton Boys’ High School) and Anthony Allen (Saint Kentigern College).

For more information visit:


About The Gallagher Great Race

The Gallagher Great Race has been sponsored by local business icon Gallagher since its inception in 2002. The annual event is now in its 13th year. It is superb world-class river racing action on a highly technical course. It is a three boat competition raced upstream over a 3.8km stretch of the Waikato River.

Founded in 2001, Boathouse Events Ltd was established to bring to fruition the idea of establishing an international varsity rowing eights competition on Waikato River.

The Gallagher Great Race is a free community event from 12-14 September on the Waikato River. All races begin at Ann Street and finish at Grantham Street.


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Winners’ Tally

Harvard was beaten by Waikato in their sole previous visit in 2007 as the men’s crew captured the Harry Mahon Memorial Trophy.

Waikato University has won the men’s eight event eight times, while the women’s crew have an even better track record, having won the Bryan Gould Cup on 10 occasions. They’ll be out to make it five wins in a row when they meet Washington and Melbourne on Sunday 14 September.

Melbourne has won the women’s title once in five visits, back in 2006, while Washington has only previously sent a men’s crew in 2005.

2014 Crews

Men’s Waikato University Crew, sponsored by Caniwi Capital:

Caleb Shepherd (Cox)*, Finn Howard (stroke)*, Richard Power (7), Anthony Allen (6)*, Shaun Kirkham (5)*, Issac Grainger (4)*, Paddy McInnes (3)*, Giacomo Thomas (2), Alex Bardoul (bow)*, Hayden Cohen (reserve)*. Coach: Ross Tong

Women’s Waikato University Crew, sponsored by Brian Perry Charitable Trust

Zoe Stevenson (8)**, Brooke Donoghue (7)*, Olivia Loe (6)*, Adelle Stead (5), Christie Davis (4), Jess Ria (3), Claudia Hyde (2)*, Kayla Pratt (1)**, Caitlin Lawry (coxswain), Linda Matthews (reserve)**.

Coach, Nick Barton

*NZ representative at Under-23 level, **NZ representative at elite level

About U Leisure Limited

U Leisure’s mission is to promote active lifestyles to people on campus and members of the Waikato community. U Leisure is a limited liability company owned by the University of Waikato and the Waikato Students Union.

Other events delivered by U Leisure include; Avantidrome REV Cycle Festival, BikeNZ Elite & U19 Track Cycling National Championships, Round the Bridges, NZ Youth Games, Avantidrome Official Opening.


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