University teams to row in for festival

An age-old rowing tradition on the famous Lakes of Killarney will be celebrated with a visit, this summer, by crews from famed universities Oxford and Cambridge.

Queen Victoria’s four-day stay in Killarney in 1861, which had helped launch the area as an international tourist destination, will also be remembered. Like millions of other visitors before and since, she also enjoyed a boat trip on the lakes.

The Jul 28 Killarney Rowing Festival is being organised by the local regatta committee which this year will be holding the Killarney Regatta at O’Mahony’s Point on Sunday, Jun 30.

A boat, known locally as the “Killarney Sixes” is said to be unique to Killarney and will be used by the Oxford and Cambridge crews at the July event at Mahony’s Point in Killarney Golf Club.

Originally built by Salters of Oxford, the boat is constructed of wood, with wooden oars and a fixed seat.

Six-person crews from clubs in West Cork, Kerry, and Irish universities will also be taking part, while the Oxford and Cambridge crews will have the benefit of a prior trial run on the lake. The visiting British crews will also be accorded a civic reception by Killarney Town Council.

Killarney has six rowing clubs and regattas have been staged on the lakes for well over 200 years. Three local men — Seán Casey, Paul Griffin, and Cathal Moynihan — rowed for Ireland in the 2008 Olympic Games.


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