Dublin Head of the River 2007

posted by Roy R Sinclair ( Vice President - 6 Feb 2007

The two Inverness Rowing Club crews which travelled to Dublin last weekend for the annual Dublin Head of the River Race on the River Liffey on Saturday provided a distinctly International flavour to the proceedings, both on and off the water.
Arriving in the Irish capital, both crews took to the upper reaches of the Liffey on the Friday to familarise themselves with the conditions and make necessary adjustments to the equipment which had been kindly loaned to them by the Old Collegians Boat Club and the An Garda Siochana College Rowing Club. A brief foray into the Guinness Storehouse to discover the age-old brewing traditions of this famous amber liquid was followed by a short tasting session in the rooftop Gravity Bar from which 300 degree views of the city and the surrounding countryside were enjoyed.
An early night was had by all in preparation for the energetic activities of the morrow.

Saturday dawned bright and cold with a crisp hoare frost covering the grassy banks of the upper reaches of the River Liffey.
Both crews arrived at the boathouses in good time to make final adjustments and preparations for the day's event which started off with a coxes briefing meeting shortly after 9am. The men's crew cox Thomas Prag carefully considered the variety of instructions provided which were to be of significant assistance in steering his crew over the course which would involve passing through a total of thirteen bridges of differing configurations, and received suitable encouragement from his crew in negotiating the tricky portage over the cascading weir on the route to the starting line right in the middle of the city. The women's crew had the benefit of an experienced cox from the host club and joined their male colleagues in the marshalling area beside the world famous O'Connell Street Bridge
By start time at 11.30am, crowds had gathered to support the crews in the bright midday sunshine on the walkways and bridge parapets of the riverside. The Inverness men's crew stroked by Neil Wallace with Colin Sinclair, Duncan Alexander, Ken Sinclair, John Sharkey, Dave Rothwell, Ken Andrews and Roy Sinclair in support was superbly coxed over the 3.7 km course by Thomas Prag (wearing suitably Scottish headgear) and reached the finishing line in 14 minutes 52 seconds narrowly missing second place to the crew from host club Old Collegians Boat Club.
The women's crew stroked by Susanne Standish-Hunter, ably supported by Ailie Ord (Strathclyde Park RC), Hilary Cook (Sons of Thames RC), Hazel Smith, Beth West (Sons of Thames RC), Mary Clouston, Cathy Mordaunt, Hazel Geddes and Kevin Towey (cox from Old Collegians Boat Club) also had a fine race to cover the course in 15 minutes 22 seconds and in doing so became the fastest crew in their event category.
Both crews and their supporters took time to relax and refresh themselves after their exciting experience on the water and later enjoyed the buzz of Dublin night life before travelling back to Inverness at the end of a most enjoyable weekend - across the water.
Next weekend sees the Scottish Indoor Rowing Championships taking place at the 'Timecapsule' in Coatbridge on Sunday11th February when the club will be represented by the Sinclair brothers in respective Junior 18 and Under 23 event categories.

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