offers the social side of rowing more than most
: drinks in the marquee, music, a luncheon, tea and supper and an Easter egg hunt for children – but this year the competitive end also looks tasty.
There is the prospect of a top competition in the men’s senior eight. Gráinne Mhaol/NUIG, in some combination, have won four of the last five national titles. But while UCG won the senior eight in 1971, Gráinne Mhaol/NUIG have never before rowed at Trinity Regatta.
Tomorrow they face UCD/Old Collegians in the semi-final, and should they win that they will take on Trinity – the rising crew that beat them well at Skibbereen Regatta.
The big entry means racing will begin this evening (6.25 to 7.50) and then run through a long day tomorrow, starting at 7.25 (there is a Masters eight semi-final set for 7.55). The last race, the men’s senior eights final, is to start at seven o’clock.
Even with the extra day, a long list of single scullers – including accomplished oarsmen such as Sean Jacob and Michael Maher – have been asked to time trial tomorrow morning.
The men’s junior 18 eight features an overseas crew: Reading Bluecoat are set to take on Portora. Reading have entered several crews.
Skibbereen's two-day regatta was a roaring success: great racing, good weather and ultra-efficient organisation. They had a glitch with internet connectivity from the finish hut to the results centre on Saturday; they put together a set of runners on the day, then solved the internet problem by the Sunday. The event is so good that the Irish Times wondered why crews from outside the country had not picked up on it. "We'll try next year," said Dominic Casey, who spends the week after the event canvassing opinion on what might make it better.
Niall Kenny and Mark O'Donovan were outstanding
and could represent Ireland this year in the lightweight pair. But Morten Espersen said this week that this will be subject to their meeting the criteria of being up to this standard.
Colm Hennessy of Shandon and Marie O'Neill of Cork Boat Club were the overall winners of the 2013/2014 Cork Sculling Ladder, which concluded on Wednesday evening. Hennessy won the men's junior 18 section and Claire Beechinor was the women's junior 18 champion.