Fionn Mc Caffrey
DUBC reaffirmed their promising form this season with a series of victories at Neptune Head of the River Race (HORR).
Neptune HORR, the National 1x Sculling Head, is held annually on Blessington Lake in County Wicklow. Despite last-minute fears that gusting winds would make the lake unrowable, the organisers were rewarded with wet, but perfectly rowable conditions.
Having spent every weekend in Blessington since College commenced, DUBC’s squad exercised the advantages of home ground. A significant amount of pressure lay with the Single Scullers, who would have to deliver a repeat performance of their Ladder win. The squad was bolstered by the return of Patrick Jacques and Fionn Mc Caffrey.
The scullers headed off into a moderate headwind, with Lorcain Cameron leading the charge to finish fourth in what proved to be a highly competitive event. The rest of the Boat Clubs’ scullers followed in close succession to take all the consecutive places until 15th.
The second Head of the day was to see the greatest successes, with three out of the six boats taking the top spots. The promising Junior Mens Double of Ian Kelly and Patrick Hughes stormed to victory, finishing nearly a minute ahead of their nearest rivals. The Novice eight also put in a solid performance, with Adam O’Brien leading the crew to a comfortable victory of 1min 34secs over their nearest rivals.
The Mens Inter Quad saw an exciting contest, with two scratch quads from DUBC vying for a first place finish. Some canny steering from Bowman Ian O’Loinsigh and a steady rhythm from Strokeman Luke Acheson allowed their quad to eat into the other quad’s headstart. The Patrick Jacques-led quad held them at bay for roughly 2 kilometres, but once the chasing quad got a view of their opponents’ stern canvas the push was called and they were overtaken with only 25 metres to go. The rivalry also saw the eventual winners post a faster time than their University of Limerick counterparts in the Senior event. Prominent DUBC alumnus and Ladt Elizabeth Boat club sculler put in a strong row to post the two fastest times in the Senior Mens 1x (in the first and second head).