The regatta season got off to a super start at Islandbridge, Dublin last weekend with crews from all around the country travelling to the capital for three days’ on the water racing.
Friday evening launched with crews from mostly Leinster clubs taking to the Liffey for a total of 40 races on the first day of Neptune Regatta.
Regatta secretary, Des O’Hara, described the Friday evening as “a very enjoyable mini event,” with races taking place every three minutes.
With a total of 260 races taking place over the two days – Friday and Saturday – this year’s regatta was one of the biggest events Neptune has ever hosted.
“After so many heads of the river being cancelled this year, our objective was to keep all the events on the schedule and get as much racing in as possible,” said O’Hara.
Some of the racing highlights included DUBC (Trinity) beating UCD in the Men’s Senior x8 on Saturday evening after the UCD B crew beat DUBC earlier in the Novice x8s. The Trinity B crew however beat UCD in the senior coxed x4s.
Tribesmen made their mark in the women’s master’s x8 beating Neptune by a length before dramatically hitting the bank just after the finish.
Neighbours, Commercial women beat UCD B in the women’s Club One eights while Graiguenamanagh won over Coláiste Iognáid in the junior women’s 1 8s.
Rowing conditions were overall reasonable, although there was “a slightly stronger flow than normal due to all the recent heavy rain,” according to O’Hara. A heavy hail shower on Saturday afternoon also delayed events, meaning the event ran late.
Rowing Ireland President, Eamonn Colclough, was in attendance on Saturday to present prizes to the winners of the morning events during the lunchtime racing break.
The event secretary said: “We’re very happy with how the regatta went. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to organise these events and we’d like to thank all our volunteers, umpires, marshals and sponsors, without whom the regatta couldn’t take place.”
The weekend’s racing continued on Sunday with many of the same crews returning to the water at Commercial Regatta where the DUBC (Trinity) Men reigned again in the Senior x8s beating their hosts, Commercial.
The 240 race regatta started early on a sunny Sunday morning and delivered what the organisers’ described as “a gruelling but exciting” 12 hours of racing.
Commercial club secretary, Sophie Eustace said: “Dublin University Boat Club (Trinity College) came away as champions in the Men’s Senior 8+ event with Commercial dividing their Championship winning eight into two crews for the event.
“Neptune took the win in the Women’s Club 1 8+ while all Junior 14’s and 15’s 1X, 2X and 4X races were straight finals at the event.”
The host club had plenty of cause for celebration over the weekend however as club member and World U23 Bronze medalist, Niall Beggan, won the men’s senior single sculls at both the Neptune and Commercial regattas.
Ms Eustace said: “This was Commercial’s biggest ever regatta. It was a huge success and there was a great atmosphere and we’d like to thank everyone who helped our event secretary, Norah Gallagher, organise the day.”
Full results for both regattas can be viewed below.
Neptune Regatta: http://neptunerowingclub.com/