The contests on the water were almost secondary as Neptune and Commercial staged two monster regattas while battling with sometimes appalling weather at Islandbridge. Hail showers, wind and a strong flow all swooped in. They were rebuffed. The sheer volume and spread of the new wave of young Irish rowers was the strongest impression to take away from almost 500 races.
Trinity men’s senior eight won at Neptune on Saturday and Commercial on Sunday. They beat UCD in a muscular battle on the first day and Commercial by two lengths at their home regatta – but in both cases their rivals were well short of full strength, with at least an eye on next weekend’s Grand League test. Trinity will not send a senior eight to Skibbereen’s regatta next weekend, citing exam pressures.
Niall Beggan of Commercial was also a winner on both days at Islandbridge in the senior single sculls and Tristan Orlic of Neptune matched him in the junior 16 single.
As night fell on Sunday and the end of Commercial regatta came, there was a stirring contest between Commercial and Neptune in the women's club eights. Commercial had won at Neptune but this time the women in green got the jump on their rivals.But as darkness came, it was the glow of the young enthusiastic visitors to the two big Dublin clubs which left a lasting impression: from Colaiste Iognaid in Galway to Graiguenamanagh to Coleraine Grammar School to Fermoy. All had wins in a festival of rowing - and never mind the weather.