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Gallagher Great Race Celebrates 10 years

20 July, 2011

Each year top universities are invited to compete in the Gallagher Great Race Festival and race against University of Waikato crews. This year marks 10 years of the race. The University of Cambridge will be back to defend their title and compete against Melbourne and Waikato university crews in a 3 boat race for the coveted Harry Mahon Cup.
The University of Waikato women’s crew will compete against crews from Melbourne and Sydney universities for the Bryan Gould Cup, also in the 3 boat racing format.
Gallagher has supported the Great Race since its beginning in 2002. Explaining their commitment to the Great Race, Sir William Gallagher stated, “We are a nation of sportsmen and women. We love the international competition and the wonderful memories this event creates. And it’s thanks to the outstanding work over the past 10 years of all the event’s supporters and organisers that have deemed the Gallagher Great Race a Hallmark Event for Hamilton.”
“The Gallagher Great Race has become one of the highlights of the year in Hamilton,” says Mayor Julie Hardaker. “It makes terrific use of the Waikato River, one of the city’s best assets, and the community is always thrilled to entertain high-performing athletes from around the world.”
The University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor, Professor Roy Crawford, says it’s always exciting to see Waikato challenging very old universities each year such as Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard. “The University of Waikato celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014 and I am proud we are establishing traditions such as this race. We look forward to seeing our men’s and women’s crews in the annual battle against some top teams.”
Rower David Nelson in the UK has also expressed the honour felt by the Cambridge crew commenting, “Cambridge University Boat Club is thrilled to be a part of the 2011 Gallagher Great Race. It has been an honour to compete for the Harry Mahon Cup - it’s a unique event which has become a key feature in our racing program. Harry was one of CUBC's dearest friends and greatest coaches. We look forward to some tough, exciting competition and hope to defend our title from the 2010 race.”
Experience and knowledge of what is one of the most challenging stretches of river in world rowing has always been key to winning the Gallagher Great Race. Even more so this year, strategy will play a major part with racing 3 crews abreast the Waikato River.
Commenting on this new format, Director of Boathouse Events Ltd, Rob Hamill stated, “The three boat race introduces a tactical element that will set it apart from any other rowing event I know of. It is such a thrilling concept and I just can’t wait to see how it all plays out. What better way could we celebrate the 10th year anniversary than by adding a bit of salt and spice to the mix. This addition will make the crews think even more strategically and make for even closer more exciting racing.”
Crew captains must select their favoured Start Station (position across the river – east, mid and west). This crucial selection will determine who has the ‘right of way’ in any overtaking manoeuvres. Crews will however, be forced to take a new station once they enter the finish zone (area from the Claudeland’s bridge to finish line).
This station will be determined by the order in which they enter the finish zone. The first boat through will be designated the mid station (against a stronger current). The second boat will be designated east (slightly weaker current) and the third boat will be designated west (against the weakest current).

Press Contact
Margaret Comer
Corporate Services Executive, Gallagher
+64 7 838 9800