The Irish regatta season lifted off in beautiful weather at Islandbridge with Neptune's big regatta on Saturday and the smaller Commercial event on Sunday – a return of a contest which had not been held for six years.
The women's senior single sculls gave Neptune an international angle. It was won easily by Elise Maurin, a 26-year-old France international who represented her country as a lightweight at three World Championships. She is based in Carlow where she is improving her English, and could compete for New Ross all the way up to the Irish Championships in July.
The men's senior single sculls went to Ian Hurley of Trinity, who had just half a length to spare over Colm Dowling of Commercial in the final. Dowling also lost in the final on Sunday - this time to clubmate Michael Maher.
The men’s intermediate final at Neptune was one of the races of the regatta. Fionnán Groome of Commercial beat the powerful Sam McKeown of Portadown by one quarter of a canvas. The men’s masters eight was also a fine race, with Neptune holding off a late charge by Commercial.
It was a very good weekend for Trinity, who have been on a winning roll. The Dublin university club won the women’s eight on Saturday with a convincing win in the straight final over the Portora crew which had earlier won the junior 18 crown. The men’s senior eight was an all-Trinity affair, with the A crew beating the B crew in the final. The men’s senior coxed four, with four oarsman from that A eight, beat a Trinity/Neptune composite in the final.
The women’s senior eight at Commercial was also an all-Trinity affair, with the B crew coming out on top. UCD entered but did not compete in the men’s intermediate four.