Three Castles open first campaign at Henley Royal Regatta with impressive win

Dave Neale and Eimantas Grigalius have too much power and control for opponents

Crews prepare to compete at the Henley Royal Regatta yesterday. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Crews prepare to compete at the Henley Royal Regatta yesterday. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

 
Dave NealeEimantas GrigaliusChris OwenJohn HaleRob Roy Boat Club

Neale is ex-UCD and Old Collegians, while Grigalius (28) is a Lithuanian who was a junior world champion in the double sculls in 2003. He lives in Co Kildare and will row for Ireland at the Home Internationals later this month, though he will wait until August to decide whether to apply for an Irish passport. Today the crew face Jon Walton and John Collins, the British double which finished sixth at the European Championships this year.

Anthony English pulled off a fine win in the Diamond Sculls. With over two stone of an advantage, army man Larry Wells took a considerable lead over the Mayo man who now rows with Nottingham, but English kept going and passed Wells to win well. English will face Nick Purnell today: he was a London Olympian in the Australia eight and has won medals at both the senior and under-23 World Championships.

Held on

Lady Elizabeth

The Queen’s quad and the Three Castles double should feature in cracking races at next weekend’s Irish Championships. The draw has an intoxicating mix of club and international athletes: Neale and Grigalius are set to face Gary O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll, who are off to the World Under-23 Championships this month; the UCD crew challenging Queen’s has internationals Paul O’Donovan, Mark O’Donovan and Niall Kenny teaming up with Micheál Bailey. The men’s senior eight pits Gráinne Mhaol/NUIG against Trinity – with the third wheel being a combination of UCD and an Old Collegians four who have a wealth of experience.

In the the Great Pacific rowing race, Battleborn are approaching the halfway mark. They covered an estimable 55 nautical miles in the 24 hours to 9am local time yesterday. The crew skippered by Dubliner Philip Cavanagh reported that they need to recharge equipment and will be out of contact for a few days. They lie second to Uniting Nations.

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