Sixth Boyne Boat Race a huge success as Inver Colpa Men win inaugural Cassidy Cup (Photo Gallery)
From 6.30am on a damp and rainy Sunday morning, May 1st, 29 boats of all shapes and sizes arrived at Clogherhead Beach in preparation for the sixth annual Boyne Boat Race which takes place later in the morning writes Sarah McCann of Inver Colpa Rowing Club
The race was a huge success as the Inver Colpa men’s team not only won their category but also took home the first Cassidy Cup.
After the event, club chairman James McKevitt, who was also a member of the winning men’s team, said:
The day was a great success for the club and everyone involved. The Boyne Boat Race has not been held since 2019 due to Covid so it was very exciting to bring the event back. All members went to great lengths to organize the race, with a special mention to Grace and her race committee. The Club is very grateful to the many who made the day possible: Drogheda Port, Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue & Recovery, the RNLI and the Red Cross. We also owe a debt of gratitude to our sponsors: Flogas, The Mariner and Grennan’s Bar.
Inver Colpa’s two race crews, both men and women, put in a mammoth effort in training the day and months leading up. The race itself is a real challenge – 15.5km long, starting on the open sea at Clogherhead and then entering the Boyne at Mornington, with each crew’s helmsman steering the Boyne into Drogheda and under the De Lacy Bridge at Scotch Hall must end .
James continued: It was fitting to see so many friends, family and Drogheda people line the river and quays cheering on the rowers. A true spectacle when almost 30 boats cross the city waters. Although the route is so scenic from the Boyne Estuary upstream, past the Maiden’s Tower, Baltray, Queensborough, Beaulieu House and under the Viaduct, all participants rowed too hard to notice! It’s a very special route considering the history of this short stretch of river following the waves of St. Patrick, the Vikings and even the Salmon of Knowledge. Our very own Gerry Hodgins is said to be still trying to catch that salmon!
This year saw a record number of participants in the race with crews traveling from Strangford Lough, Ballygally and Whitehead in Northern Ireland, along with crews from Dublin and Wicklow amongst others. The boats that traveled around the country to compete were a mix of East Coast skiffs, St Sykes skiffs, Currachs, All-Ireland One Design boats, Fiesas and Celtic Longboats.
Glenda Carter, club secretary and member of the women’s team, commented: The weather didn’t spoil anyone’s spirits on Sunday. It was great to see so many boats on Clogherhead Beach on the day after two years of being unable to run the race due to the pandemic. We are really proud of the effort all our club members put into organizing the race and look forward to next year making it even bigger and better!