It is almost traditional that each rowing season begins with performances which suggest Neptune may dominate in the men's eights; but rarely have the Dublin club blasted out the message with such authority as they did in Saturday's Dublin Head of the River on the Liffey.
The Neptune crew made up of the national lightweight cox-less four (stroke Tony O'Connor, Neville Maxwell, Derek Holland and Brendan Dolan) supplemented by seasoned heavyweights Donal Hanrahan, Albert Maher, Sean Jacob and Ciaran Lewis, made light of choppy conditions and a head wind to beat rivals Trinity by 29.58 seconds - the biggest margin ever in this event. UCD's win in the intermediate eight and Belfast's in the veteran's eight gave the only indication of a break in the dominance of Neptune in the men's disciplines - but then no Neptune crew figured in either event! UCD did, however, beat Neptune in the women's eight.
Dublin Head Of The River: Men, Eight: Open - Neptune 12 minutes 18.98 seconds; Intermediate - UCD 14:0.72; Junior - Neptune A 14:19.69; Veteran - Belfast Rowing Club 16:32.61. Four: Open - Neptune A 15:1.86. Veteran Quad - Neptune 15:5.46. Women, Eight: Open - UCD/LBC 16:21.24; Novice/Junior - 17:28.19. Four - Trinity 21:13.41.