UCD take three of four titles in Colours Races

Women’s novice crew crown goes to Trinity


There was spectacle and even some controversy, but in the end UCD repeated last year’s fine result by taking three of the four titles on offer at the Colours Races in Dublin city centre on Saturday.

Only the first race of the day, the women’s novice crown, went to Trinity on a day of excellent conditions and colourful crowd support on the eight bridges of the course from O’Connell Bridge to St James’s Gate.

UCD had a stunning start in the Gannon Cup for men’s senior eights. Their big crew, rowing on the generally less favoured south station, led by a canvas by the Ha’penny Bridge.

By the time the crews passed the Four Courts, UCD had a clearwater advantage and the eventual verdict was “easily”.

Offaly man Dave Neale beamed afterwards – he had become the record-breaker in this event, with six Gannon Cup titles.

In the best battle of the day, the women’s senior eights race for the Corcoran Cup, UCD also got a great start off the south station, but each time they tried to extend their lead to a length or more Trinity bit back.

One of Trinity’s big pushes came in front of the Four Courts as they clawed their way up the UCD boat about a quarter of a length, but the admirably composed UCD women were rock solid in their execution and held on to win by half a length.

The women’s novice eight was a straightforward win for Trinity, but the men’s equivalent was packed full of incident. Trinity had a spectacular crash into the wall after coming through Watling Street Bridge, the final one on the course, and UCD, who were already leading, crossed the line as winners. The Trinity cox, Ciara Sheehan, explained that the wire controlling her steering had snapped. UCD had earlier taken the unmarked south arch on Winetavern Street Bridge, prompting a Trinity complaint, but race umpire Leo Gibson said he had told UCD to take this line to avoid an underwater object.

Meanwhile, over 200 crews competed, but rowing clubs on the Corrib topped the rankings at the big Galway Head of the River on Saturday. NUIG and its old boys club, Grainne Mhaol combined with St Joseph’s to provide the fastest crew of the day, a senior eight which won the third head (time trial). NUIG’s intermediate eight were second.

The pair of Fionnan McQuillan-Tolan and Sean O’Connor have been one of the most talked-about crews in this year’s preseason and the St Joseph’s/NUIG outfit won the second head (time trial).

Grainne Mhaol also provided the fastest men’s senior four on the day.