Colleges show their colours in showdown on the Liffey

Some highly-charged racing is in store when the Colours Races — those famous head-to-heads between the crews of Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin — take place on Saturday on the River Liffey.

Eight crews in four events will race side by side from O’Connell Bridge to St. James’s Gate, an event that has attracted thousands of supporters in the past. Novice men and women’s crews compete for the Dan Quinn Shield and Sally Moorhead Trophy respectively, while the main events are undoubtedly the senior women battling for the Corcoran Cup and the senior men seeking the Gannon Cup in the grand finale at 3pm.

UCD defend their titles in both senior events, but in the recent Erne Head of the River (HOR) in Enniskillen, the Trinity senior men’s crew were fastest with, UCD considerably adrift.

A highly-charged race is promised as the crews don their college colours with an immense sense of pride. In an event steeped in history, dating as far back as 1947, Trinity wrote themselves into the history books in 2015, taking all four titles on offer for the first time, matching UCD’s achievement of 2008.

Elsewhere, Michelle Carpenter, Rowing Ireland Women in Sport & Development manager (Get Going…Get Rowing programme) was one of the two World Rowing (FISA) representatives (Harumi Horiguchi from Japanese Rowing was the other) at the second Women in Leadership forum in Lausanne last week.

The event is organised by the International Olympic Council (IOC) and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

The clear message from the event was that achieving gender equality is a team effort, that women, men and sports organisations must work together as a team to bring more women into leadership positions in all levels of sports: management, coaching and officiating positions.

Newly-elected president of the Olympic Council of Ireland Sarah Keane underlined that women must be given roles on merit and not only on gender balance and encouraged the women involved in the forum to challenge their weaknesses.

Chair of the IOC Women in Sport Commission Lydia Neskera motivated participants to “engage themselves without reservation. We all need to know that we have a place in sport, and the power is not for men alone, far from it. It is for us as well. We need to understand that without support from men, our fight will be in vain.”

Carpenter said: “I was honoured to be chosen by World Rowing as a participant in the event. Having worked so hard to empower women in rowing I am inspired to continue in my work in Rowing in Ireland to encourage and enable women in all areas of our sport.” She added: “Rowing has come a long way, only in the last 20 years some clubs have permitted women to join. However, this change has only happened because of the men and women that have been involved along the way. With this and my learnings of the forum in mind, I will continue to work with the men in our sport to facilitate and encourage these women on their journey in our organisation at all levels.”

After the successful weekend had by the National University of Ireland Galway Boat Club (NUIG BC) at Erne Head of the River, 40 athletes from the club travelled to compete in Amsterdam’s distinguished Heineken Roeivierkamp or “The Heineken”. In its 45th year, the event marks the opening of the Dutch rowing season and participation is open to eights and coxed quadruple sculls (boats with four rowers and a coxswain).

The regatta ran over two days and is made up of four different races. The event is not your typical rowing race as crews must row 250 metres, 750 metres, 2500 metres and 5000 metres. The overall ranking is then calculated by converting all times to 250m times, and the sum forms the final score.

The NUIG crews performed well over the two days and the competition was a great experience for the athletes of NUIG BC, who raced against members of the Dutch national team.

Meanwhile, the rescheduled St Michael’s HOR will run on Saturday, with almost 250 crews set to travel to O’Briensbridge in Limerick.


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