From 6.30 a.m. on a wet and drizzly Sunday morning on May 1, 29 boats of all shapes and sizes began arriving on Clogherhead Strand to prepare for the sixth annual Boyne Boat Race, which will take place later in the morning. writes Sarah McCann of Inver Colpa Rowing Club
The race was a huge success with the men’s crew of Inver Colpa not only winning their class but also winning the inaugural Cassidy Cup.
Speaking after the event, club chairman James McKevitt, who was also a member of the winning men’s team, said:
The day was a huge success for the club and everyone involved. The Boyne Boat Race hadn’t been held since 2019 due to Covid so it was very exciting to bring the event back. All the members were involved in the organization of the race, with a special mention for Grace and her race committee. The club is very grateful to the many people who made this day possible: Drogheda Port, Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue & Recovery, the RNLI and the Red Cross. We are also indebted to our sponsors: Flogas, The Mariner and Grennan’s Bar.
The two Inver Colpa racing crews, men and women, put in a gigantic effort on the day and in the months leading up to training. The race itself is a real challenge – 15.5km long, starting in the open sea at Clogherhead then entering the Boyne at Mornington, requiring each crew’s helmsman to navigate the Boyne to Drogheda and finish under the De Lacy Bridge at Scotch Hall.
James continued: It was normal to see so many friends, family and people from Drogheda lining the river and the quays to cheer on the rowers. A real spectacle seeing nearly 30 boats crossing the waters of the city. Although the route up the river from the mouth of the Boyne is so scenic, passing Maiden’s Tower, Baltray, Queensborough, Beaulieu House and under the viaduct, all participants were rowing too hard to notice! This is a very special route given the history of this short stretch of river, followed by St. Patrick’s Wash, Vikings and even the Salmon of Knowledge. They say our very own Gerry Hodgins is still trying to catch that salmon!
This year has seen record numbers of race entrants with crews hailing from as far away as Strangford Lough, Ballygally and Whitehead in Northern Ireland, as well as crews from Dublin and Wicklow amongst others. The boats that traveled across the country to compete were a mix of East Coast single sculls, St. Ayles single sculls, currachs, All Ireland one design boats, Fiesas and Celtic rowboats.
Glenda Carter, club secretary and member of the women’s team, commented: The weather didn’t put anyone off Sunday. It was great to see so many boats on Clogherhead Strand that day after two years without being able to host the race due to the pandemic. We are really proud of the effort put into organizing the race by everyone in our club and hope it will be even bigger and better next year!
2022 Boyne Boat Race Results
Skiffs St Ayles – Men – Strangford Lough – 1:45:46
Skiffs St Ayles – Women – Strangford Lough – 1:55:24
currach – Mixed – Lake Carlingford – 1:55:37
East coast skiffs – Men – St. Patrick’s Day – 1:28:37
East coast skiffs – Mixed – St Michael’s – 1:42:46
All Ireland One Design – Men – Inver Colpa – 1:30:55
All Ireland One Design – Women – Castle – 1:37:53
All Ireland One Design – Mixed – White head – 1:25:35
Celtic longboats – Women – Vartry – 1:47:35
Celtic longboats – Mixed – Vartry – 1:44:30
Fiesa’s – Men’s Doubles – Greystones – 1:19:32
Fiesa’s – Mixed Doubles – Vartry – 1:35:49
Fiesa’s – Men’s Quad – Vartry – 1:12:37