The club achieved its best ever result at the recent London Head of the River Race, finishing 24th out of 409 crews in a time of 18:26 and finished as the 6th fastest University crew. The prestigious event had attracted several international crews including the overall winners the ‘Great 8’ from Tideway Scullers School, made up of Olympic sculling finalists and including Olaf Tufte, Mahe Drysdale and Alan Campbell.
After the disappointing result at Erne Head, UCD’s Senior VIII were focussed on putting in a good performance and a lot of technical work was done in the leadup to the race. The club was aiming for a top 30 finish and started in 101st position behind Liverpool University and in front of Osnabrucker II, a German crew. The crew rowed patiently, counting on their strength and improved technique to give them the result they were looking for. Their focus paid off and they had overtaken the two crews in front before the Chiswick Steps and were about 2 lengths off the next 3 boats passing the Putney boathouses near the finish. This excellent result has revitalised the squad and the crew is eagerly anticipating the next few events which will be Neptune Regatta, the Irish Squad Trials and the Gannon Cup.
Congratulations must also be given to Queen’s University Belfast who finished in 17th position, 4 seconds ahead of the UCD crew and who achieved the best Irish result at the head. Under their new Director of Rowing Mark Fangen-Hall, Queen’s have become a strong force in Irish rowing and will provide excellent competition for the Wylie Cup at the upcoming University Championships and regatta season.
The club would also like to thank everyone at Vesta Rowing Club for their hospitality and look forward to returning next year.