THE Yorkshire Head Race - the first major rowing event of the 2014 calendar on the River Ouse - will be staged today.

The Yorkshire Head, a time trial over a 5.1 kilometre downstream course from Rawcliffe Landing to the city, finishes just above York City Rowing Club’s headquarters at Lendal Bridge.

The race is run by the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Rowing Council.

For many crews, this race represents the culmination of their hard winter training.

For the more ambitious, it is a final preparation for the Thames Head of the River on March 29, in which 420 crews race off over the well-known University Boat Race course.

York clubs are well represented in the large entry of 225, including crews from York City Rowing Club, University of York, York St John University and St Peter’s School.

All the major rowing clubs in the North of England are also represented, with competitors also coming from as far as Talkin Tarn (Carlisle), Lancaster, Chester, Birmingham and Hampton School, based on the Thames.

The event is organised in two divisions, the first starting at 11.45am and the second at 2.45pm.

The second division includes the fastest eights and last year the Head winner was the senior men’s eight from the University of York.

Organiser Jo Brehaut said: “With the good weather forecast and the Ouse finally down at normal levels, we should have perfect conditions.

We should see some very good racing.”