Head Race brings hundreds of rowers to Chattanooga waterfront - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Head Race brings hundreds of rowers to Chattanooga waterfront

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Saturday morning more than 400 boats glided across the Tennessee River in a battle for the top spot in the 21st Annual Chattanooga Head Race. 

Rowing crews from seven different states hit the water, 39 different teams some from college, some from sporting clubs duked it out in a battle of endurance and sportsmanship...

This is University of Georgia crew member Benjamin Verlander's first race with his team.

"Oh this is great. This, the water here. I'm really pumped this is a huge body of water. I've only rowed on a small pond before so," Verlander says.   

Lack of experience does little to hinder the rookie's confidence. "Drove all the way up from Athens, not leaving without a victory," says Verlander.

Crews travel a total of three miles on open water, a task much easier said than done as rowing is a sport that focuses on long term endurance. However, for crews like Verlander's, it's a chance to truly come together as a team.

"Its a great team bonding experience, like all my teammates over here. It's really fun just hanging out with them," Verlander says.

Organizers say participants in this year's head race increased by about 25 percent since last year.

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