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 6th annual Boyne Boat Race, which will take place later in the morning. Postponed for two years due to COVID, 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.
he two Inver Colpa racing crews, men and women, put in a colossal 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.
Speaking after the event, club chairman James McKevitt, who was also a member of the winning men’s team, said the day had been a huge success for the club and everyone involved.
“All members went to great lengths to organize the race, with a special mention to Grace and her race committee. We are 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,” said James.
“It was normal to see so many friends, family and people of Drogheda lining the river and the quays cheering the rowers. 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! special given the history of this short stretch of river, which follows the St. Patrick’s wash, the Vikings and even the salmon of knowledge. It is said that 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.
The weather didn’t put anyone off Sunday. It was great to see so many boats on Clogherhead Strand that day after 2 years without being able to host the race due to the pandemic,” added Glenda Carter, club secretary and female crew member. “We are really proud of the effort put into the organization of the race by all members of our club and we hope that it will be even bigger and better next year”!
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