The Boat Club’s annual celebratory Gala Day took place on Saturday 13th September. Is there any better way of kick-starting the new rowing season than with several crates of free drink, a bit of racing and a barbecue at the boathouse before heading into our spiritual home of Hartigan’s? Didn’t think so! Almost all the trophies won in the previous season were kindly provided by Rowing Ireland, the college and the respective clubs, allowing the club to relive the many successes of the 2007/2008 season.
With the food and drink flowing and the Liffey Descent delaying access to the water, racing for the Henley Prize (Best Club 4+) was set aside in favour of the notorious ‘How Low Can You Go?’ competition, won by newcomer to the club Finbar Manning, beating one of our resident erg-monsters, Ben ‘Bam Bam’ Frederiks. All eyes then turned to watch what would finally answer the question on everyone’s lips: ‘Which year provided the greatest Novice Championship winning crew ever? – Novices 07 or Novices 08?’. In an effort to even the odds, the ’07 crew decided to take the slowest boat, reshuffle their line-up, fill their boat with water & stop several times on the way to the start to get sick. Lining up exactly level on the start, it was clear that the ’07 crew were the more focused with the ’08 crew missing the start and the race was restarted in the interests of fair-play. On the restart the ’07 crew gained at least 3 seats on the first stroke and in an excellent display of paddling and in no way attributable to claims of breaking the start or aggressive steering, the ’07 crew finished three quarters of a length up at the end of the 250m course (equivalent to 6 lengths over 2km!). The ’07 crew then praised the efforts of their opponents and most certainly did not celebrate their victory any way short of magnanimously. The usual antics in Hartigan’s are presumed to have followed – if anyone can remember them.
The club would like to wish all departing members well for the future – Mark Butcher, James Graham, Alex Hatwell, Kevin Cunningham, Tom Duggan, Darragh Coffey, Peter Hughes – all of you contributed to the amazing success of the club over the past year.