Intermediate clash on the liffey sees UCD’s Gannon Cup winning team continue strong.
A beautiful Spring day greeted oarsmen at last Saturday’s Dublin Head of the River. Our own Dublin University Boat Club competed alongside UCD and Queens University, as well as local clubs Old Collegians, Neptune, Commercial and An Garda Síochána, amongst others. There was much enthusiasm on the Ha’penny Bridge where this reporter found himself surrounded by well-wishing families and friends of those competing, as well as the odd Scotsman with a passing interest in the goings-on on the river below. Hot favourites UCD, off the back of their Gannon Cup win, looked impressive and impressive they were as they went on to take the Senior VIII’s title. Old Collegians, UCD’s old boy wing (that is currently undergoing a bit of a revival), had two master’s eights entered and certainly demonstrated how to get away from the wife for the day, have the banter of a 20 year-old, whilst holding down a full-time job with all the trappings of permanent employment!
It is always encouraging to see the Boat Club’s novices rowing so well after just 6 months’ experience. This university’s most sucessful sports club demands a continuous supply of fresh oarsmen in order to maintain her status. There is no doubt that the training currently being undertaken down at Islandbridge, under the watchful eye of club men Mike Ryder and Seán Tunney, will pay dividends in the very near future.
DUBC fielded an up-and-coming intermediate VIII for the Dublin Head, the club’s elite oarsmen preferring to focus their efforts on next week’s internationally renowned London Head of the River Race. There, former Oxford University oarsman Kevin Cunningham (Oriel College) will be competing alongside the best that the British Isles has to offer, along with club heavyweights Ali Floyd and Peter Croke (this year’s Captain of Boats). At London, DUBC will be looking to make their mark and persuade the Henley Stewards in the matter of automatic qualification for Henley Royal Regatta’s Temple Challenge Cup next July. It is always difficult trying to balance one’s committment to the club with the demands of university life (the imposition of semesterisation by the College administrators having a particularly bad effect on Boat Club members’ study plans), but winning races has never been easy and we must remain steadfast in the Boat Club’s ability to punch well above their weight in every competition they enter. The university championships are the next major event on the Boat Club’s calendar and preparations are well underway in the matter of maintaining the university’s reputation for being Ireland’s premier university rowing club.