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.
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