Bann Rowing Club took the top prizes at City of Derry Boating Club’s Head of the River Foyle on Saturday.
Fifty eight crews from around Ireland raced a 3200m city-centre course in two “against the clock” races, finishing at City of Derry’s Prehen boathouse. Bann Women’s J18 eight won Race 1 in a time of 12 minutes 7s, and the Men’s eight won Race 2 in a time of 10 minutes 36s.
Mayor John Boyle presented the club’s historic trophies to the crews in a ceremony at City of Derry Boating Club after the second race. Medals were also awarded for the winners in each class.
There was a dramatic tie in the Men’s Senior single sculls event, between Christie from Bann and Patterson from Sligo, each with a time of 12 minutes and 34s.
It was a good day for Bann junior rowing, as they came out on top in all their battles with Coleraine Grammar School, taking medals in the Men’s and Women’s J18 coxless fours, the Women’s J14 coxed quad, the Men’s J15 coxed quad, and the Mens J16 and J14 double sculls.
Sligo Rowing Club were the other big winners at junior level, with victories in both Women’s and Men’s J18 single sculls.
Athlone’s Paul Gallen won the Men’s Masters single sculls. Otherwise, Masters rowing was dominated by Belfast clubs on the day, with Belfast Rowing Club taking victory in the Men’s Masters eight and double sculls events, a Lagan Scullers / Belfast Boat Club composite taking the Women’s double sculls, and Lagan Scullers taking the Women’s single sculls.
The race organizers would like to thank the event sponsors: Grant’s Meats in Culmore, Spar in Drumahoe, Texaco in Muff and the Community Champion at Tesco. The event was supported by many facilitators and volunteers, including Andy Sides at the Loughs Agency, Bill McCann, the Harbour Master at Foyle Port, Alan McGarrigle, Alan Robinson and Tommy Murphy at Octoberstone. For the catering, thanks goes to Eglinton Women’s Institute, Donna McDowell, Helen Ferry and Shauna, Mary, Eileen and Kathleen Doherty.