UCD Win Senior Titles and Trinity Take Novice Crowns at Colours

On a day with a mix of bright sunshine and heavy showers, the honours in the four Colours Races on the Liffey were divided two-each between UCD and Trinity. However UCD won the big ones, retaining the Gannon Cup for senior men and the Corcoran Cup for senior women.

 The power and rhythm of UCD’s Gannon Cup crew was on view from the start of their race. By the third bridge, Grattan, they were half a length up and looked set for an emphatic win. Trinity came back and made a good race of it, but UCD had enough to win.

 UCD rowed without one of their chosen oarsmen, who stepped back from the races as an investigation was held into a derogatory Instagram post. The rowers and management would not comment directly on the issue, but Martin Feeley, the UCD coach was full of praise for Mika Ryan, who subbed into the three seat: “He only sat in two days ago. He had no preparation (for) high intensity racing. He’s been rowing head of the river races, which is a completely different animal altogether. To sit into a boat and go off at 45 strokes a minute in a head-to-head and to last the course, I think is fantastic credit to him. That aspect to me is very pleasing: Mika did extraordinarily well.”

 Feeley said he was impressed with Trinity, who were competitive in difficult conditions with a strong flow. “It’s great to see such close racing, really. It’s good to see Trinity back in such a strong position. I wish they weren’t quite so strong!”

 In the Corcoran Cup, UCD swept into an even bigger lead in the middle stages of their race, and this time Trinity did not claw their way back into contention.

 The novice men’s race for the Dan Quinn Shield was perhaps the best of the day. Trinity slipped into a small early lead. UCD came back and led by half a length. However, as they passed the Four Courts, Trinity had won back the lead and they defended it to the very tight finish.  

 Trinity were bigger winners in the novice women’s race. They had a sweet start, and stretched their advantage to the finish line.

 Meanwhile, Elaine Power of Neptune won the Dublin Sculling Ladder for senior women She beat Anna Brennan, who at 16 was bidding to match Aoife Moloney as the youngest winner of this class.  

 Colours Races

 Gannon Cup (Senior Men): UCD (David Crooks, Mikey Campion, Mika Ryan, Luke Dunleavy, Paul Flood, David Somers, Sam Daly, Fintan Earley; cox: Shauna Fitzsimons) 6:45.1 bt Trinity 6:46.5

 Corcoran Cup (Senior Women): UCD (Tara Phelan, Niamh Campbell, Lauryn Roche, Aisling Barry, Ellie Scott, Dervila O’Brien, Sarah Daly, Alison Daly; cox: Orla Kelly) 7:44.9 bt Trinity 8:06.1

 Dan Quinn Shield (Novice Men): Trinity 7:18.8  bt UCD 7:20.5

 Sally Moorhead Trophy (Novice Women): Trinity 8:46.3  bt UCD 9:25.0

Colours Clash Promises Early-Season Highlight

The tide this week has been high, as our picture above shows, but the Colours Races on the Liffey tomorrow (Saturday) are set to go ahead. The four races run from O’Connell Bridge to St James’s Gate, and starts are scheduled from 12.30 to 2.0 pm.  

 UCD won three of the four in 2022 and their senior men’s eight come into the Gannon Cup as favourites. They have four rowers from last year’s dominant crew, and Fintan Earley will again be in the stroke seat. Trinity have the favoured North Station (as they do across all the races) and also have four from last year’s crew. Twenty-five-year-old Hungarian international Maté Bacskai, who competed for his country in the World Championships just last September, will row in the six seat and the crew will be stroked by Tom Stevens.

 An offensive Instagram post which lampooned Trinity threatened to cast a shadow over the race and is being investigated. 

 The UCD women’s eight bounced back to form to win last year’s Corcoran Cup. Three of rowers from that crew return, to just one for Trinity. However, Trinity have some rowers who showed real talent as juniors, so this race is in the balance.

 The day as planned starts with the Sally Moorhead Trophy for novice women (12.30), followed by the Dan Quinn Shield for novice men (1.0 pm) and then the two senior races, the Corcoran Cup (1.30) and the Gannon Cup (2.0).

 Trinity stroke Tom Stevens could have a busy day, as he will be declared the senior men’s winner of the Dublin Sculling Ladder on Saturday. The junior men’s winner is Davis Ross-Chu of UCD and the junior women’s Anna Brennan of Graiguenamanagh. Brennan, who is just 16, hoped to join Aoife Moloney as the youngest winner of the senior women’s title by prevailing in  a challenge against Elaine Power of Neptune. This race is fixed for 4.0 pm.

Caoimhe Dempsey Chosen to Stroke Cambridge in Boat Race

Ireland’s Caoimhe Dempsey has been chosen as the stroke of the Cambridge women’s eight for this year’s Boat Race.

 Dempsey was part of the Cambridge crew which won the race in the last two years. The former Trinity rower is a postgraduate student at Cambridge and the Cambridge University Boat Club’s women’s president. 

 The crew announcement for the race in London on March 26th, was made at Apothecaries’ Hall, Blackfriars, this morning.

Pic: © Liam Gorman. 

The Gemini Boat Race 2023 Crews


Bow: Laurel Kaye (Worcester) 

Claire Aitken (Oriel) 

Sara Helin (St. Peter’s) 

Ella Stadler (Exeter) 

Alison Carrington (Hertford) 

Freya Willis (Magdalen) 

Sarah Marshall (Jesus) 

Stroke: Esther Austin (St Anne’s) 

Cox: Tara Slade (St Peter’s) 


Bow Carina Graf (Emmanuel) 

Rosa  Millard (Trinity Hall) 

Alex Riddell-Webster (Murray Edwards) 

Jenna Armstrong (Jesus) 

Freya Keto St. (Edmund’s) 

Isabelle Bastian (Jesus) 

Claire Brillon (Fitzwilliam) 

Stroke: Caoimhe Dempsey (Newnham) 

Cox: James Trotman (Sidney Sussex) 

OUBC (Average Weight minus cox 91.95kg)

Bow: James Forward (Pembroke) 

Alex Bebb (St. Peter’s) 

Freddy Orpin (St. Catherine’s) 

Tom Sharrock (Magdalen) 

James Doran (Oriel) 

Jean-Philippe Dufour (Lincoln) 

Tassilo von Mueller (Hertford) 

Stroke: Felix Drinkall (Wolfson) 

Cox: Anna O’Hanlon (Somerville) 

CUBC (Average Weight cox 89.15kg) 

Bow: Matt Edge (St Catharine’s) 

Brett Taylor (Queens’) 

Noam Moulle (Hughes Hall) 

Seb Benzecry (Jesus) 

Thomas Lynch (Hughes Hall) 

Nick Mayhew (Peterhouse) 

Ollie Parish (Peterhouse) 

Stroke: Luca Ferraro (King’s) 

Cox: Jasper Parish (Clare) 

Luck Favours Trinity at Colours Coin Toss

The coin toss for the Colours boat races was held at sun-graced Trinity today. Luck favoured the hosts, and Trinity’s men’s and women’s crews will race on their chosen North Station on March 25th.
Thomas Byrne, the Minister for Sport and Physical Education, did the honours. For the first time, the men’s captains of Trinity and UCD were both women: Isabel Doyle and Shauna Fitzsimons. The Doyle family are unique in this context, as Isabel’s brother, William Doyle and father, Michael Doyle, preceded her in the role in 2019 and 1984, respectively.
The Colours boat races on the Liffey in Dublin have moved away from the St Patrick’s weekend and will be held on Saturday, March 25th this year.
The order is:
12:30 Sally Moorhead Trophy (novice women)
1:00 Dan Quinn Shield (novice men)
1:30 Corcoran Cup (senior women)
2:00 Gannon Cup (senior men)
Our picture shows Isabel Doyle and Alicia O’Neill, men’s and women’s captains of Trinity, the Minister for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne and Ellie Scott and Shauna Fitzsimons, women’s and men’s captains of UCD.

Mannix Tops Single Rankings as Byrne and O’Donovan Fastest Double


Kealan Mannix was the fastest single sculler, ahead of fellow University of Limerick man Rory O’Neill and Michael Hourihane of Skibbereen at the Cork Head of the River.

 Gary O’Donovan and Ronan Byrne teamed up to win the men’s double sculls.

 Shandon came home fastest in the men’s junior 18 eight, while Skibbereen won the women’s junior 18 eight, ahead of Lee Valley.  Shandon were also the fastest women’s junior 18 four.

 Karen Carey of Cappoquin won the women’s junior single sculls and Sean Morris of Tralee came out on top in the men’s junior single sculls, ahead of Liam Walter of Castleconnell

UCD Fastest at Well-Supported Erne Head of the River

UCD’s men’s senior eight were the fastest crew at the Erne Head of the River today. The strong selection were just over 18 seconds faster than Cork Boat Club’s men’s senior eight in the men’s head, covering the course in 19 minutes and 34 seconds.

 The event was run in still conditions and drew an impressive number of men’s adult eights.

 Enniskillen’s men’s junior eight were the fastest at their level – and seventh overall in the men’s head. Commercial’s E crew won the masters eight.

 Trinity’s women’s senior eight were the one crew at this level entered in the women’s head and duly won. Castleconnell’s junior eight came home faster than Enniskillen to take second, ahead of the intermediate eight from Trinity. Methody’s junior 16 eight shot up from a starting place of 13 to an excellent seventh overall.   

Katie O’Brien Adds World Record to World Championship Gold

The Irish Indoor Rowing Championships in Limerick saw Katie O’Brien (pictured) and Denis Crowley set new world records, while Holly Davis minted a new Irish junior women’s mark.

Galway woman O’Brien had a wonderful World Championships last year, winning the PR2 single sculls, and she duly added the world record to her list of achievements, recording 7 minutes 56.5 seconds. She had considered missing the event due to sinus trouble.

Crowley, who has a remarkable record in the World Masters Championships – he has more than 30 medals – became the fastest lightweight man over 60 with a time of 6:40.9.

Davis, who turned 18 in January, targeted the Irish record for junior women and beat it well, with 6.56.1. She says her year will be built around the Leaving Cert and – hopefully – competing at the World Junior Championships. She won a bronze medal at the World Juniors in 2021. The Lee Valley woman is pictured below with coaches Noel Monaghan and Ross O’Donovan. 

Andrew O’Leary won the men’s junior title in Limerick, while Donagh Claffey took the Under-23 honours. Michael Hourihane of Skibbereen was the fastest on the day. The big man won the men’s open class in a time of 6:02.5.

University of Limerick rowers Caoimhe O’Sullivan, who is under-23, and Kate Healy topped the women’s rankings, with times of 7:10.1 and 7:10.5, while Siobhan McCrohan of Tribesmen was the fastest lightweight woman in a good time of 7:13.1.

The rescheduling of the event saw many of the top Ireland internationals ruled out, and while Gary O’Donovan was entered in the men’s lightweight class he withdrew. He has been suffering from a foot injury.


Out of the Blue and Into English Harbour for City Coach Jamie Carr

A third Irish boat has completed this season’s Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. Solo oarsman Jamie Carr, who is a coach with Manchester City football club, made it three out of three when he rowed into English Harbour in Antigua today.

 The Howth man in good form as he was embraced by friends and family. He joked that he felt “worse than after 20 pints”.

 He left La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12th and took 53 days, one hour and 12 minutes to row the 5,000 kilometres across the Atlantic. Competing as Nothing Ventured, he finished 30th overall and second in the solo class. 

 A five and the four rowing as Row Hard or Go Home were the first two Irish boats home. The five set a new record time for a five of 33 days 12 hours 38 minutes and 30 seconds, while the four completed the crossing in 35 days, 23 hours and 41 minutes.

  “There is nothing on this earth (which) compares to what I have just gone through in the last 53 days. It’s been an absolute roller coaster,” Carr said.

 He said it was a “sweet moment” to finish and to be greeted by those who had flown in to welcome him.

 A pod of dolphins swam by his boat on Christmas day. He was also able to watch sharks, marlins, tuna and even a whale. “I had a zoo follow me for about three days!”

 He dealt with severe loneliness at sea. “I’m never ever doing a solo venture again. I thought I would be okay, because I like my own company – I like sitting on the couch for hours on my own, but that’s a different ball game altogether. I can’t describe the degrees of emotion you go through when you are out there on your own.”

 He apologised to his family and his girlfriend, Rachel, for the amount he “moaned and vented” online and thanked the support team.

 He raised money for two charities: CFFC (Cancer Fund for Children) and a Manchester City fund, City Thrive.

 Asked had he any advice to anyone suffering from loneliness, he cited his experience of how low he felt in bad weather, only to see it change for the better. “Just hang in there. Nothing lasts forever.”

 Pic: Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge on YouTube


Irish Four Completes Atlantic Row

All nine rowers in the Row Hard or Go Home team have now rowed across the Atlantic. The Four arrived in Antigua this morning having completed their row from the Canaries in 35 days, 23 hours and 41 minutes as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

 The five-man crew of the Brugha had finished their row early on Sunday morning, setting a new record time for a five-person crew.

 It was a particularly special day for Dan Buckley, who celebrated his 36th birthday on the other side of the Atlantic, having set out from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12th. Twins Eugene and Frank Mohan and Jim Bailey were his crewmates.

 The four men were in good form as they were greeted by family members in English Harbour. Though they had lost two oars and encountered high winds, they said the were frustrated by the calm seas which made their final drive for the finish difficult.

 Rowers from the Five were also waiting for them at the finish. Row Hard or Go Home have been major fundraisers – with a reported €50,000 raised – for Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice and the RNLI.

 The Four finished 10th overall. One Irish rower remains in the race: Jamie Carr, whose team name is Nothing Ventured, lies second in the solo class and is set to finish on or around February 5th.