Yesterday evening saw Dublin University Boat Club (DUBC) take on University of London’s ‘B’ crew in the first day of the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta. Trinity came out on top, finishing with a time of 6 minutes 41 seconds.
DUBC stormed ahead of University of London early on, the crew looking calm and composed. University of London fought hard to get back in the race but could not get a foothold and DUBC took a commanding lead for the rest of the race.
The rowers now march on to the second round of the competition, which will take place tomorrow. They are facing a well-funded Syracuse University team, who travel over from America. If they get through tomorrow’s challenge, the team will go onto a quarter final and the finals will be on Sunday.
In preparation for the regatta, DUBC have spent the past three weeks training on the old Olympic course in Eton Dorney and taking on crews from Eton College. They have also undergone a gruelling winter program instigated by coach Richard Ruggieri, who took over last year, meaning they are top shape for the challenge ahead.
The regatta boasts a number of different cups for competitive amateur rowers, with DUBC competing in the Temple Challenge Cup, which started in 1990. According to the Henley Royal Regatta website, the cup caters “for the eights of single colleges, of smaller university boat clubs and of schools unable to enter for the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup by reason of age”.
Henley Royal Regatta has a long and distinguished history. Starting in 1839, the competition has taken place every year excluding the two world wars. The regatta is part of the English social season and demands strict dress codes for all attendees. All races take place on the Henley course situated on the River Thames and are head-to-head, knockout races.