Mighty Muckross men hold off the might of 'Oxbridge'
MUCKROSS Rowing Club beat off the world's most coveted rivals, Oxford and Cambridge, to take the prestigious 'Lakes of Killarney Salters Cup' on Sunday on Lough Lein.
The famous boat clubs from London challenged the six Killarney Rowing Clubs as part of the Killarney Rowing Festival, which was held at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club to celebrate the 228th Annual Killarney Regatta, the oldest surviving traditional regatta in the world.
Patrick and Steve Casey were on hand to present the famous cup, won by the Casey Brothers at the Killarney Regatta in 1931 to the victorious Muckross Crew, which included; Stroke, Brendan Sheehan, Jeremy Kenny, Ronan Spillane, Maurice Coffey, Brendan O'Neill, David Horan, and cox Aoife Cooper.
The type of boat is unique to the Lakes of Killarney and known as 'The Killarney Sixes' wooden in structure, wooden oar and fixed seat. The boats were originally designed and built by Salters in Oxford.
The visiting clubs were left in awe of the great tradition of rowing that Killarney still holds dear. Giles Vardey of Oxford Boat Club said: "Both crews were honoured and privileged to have been invited to such a beautiful part of Ireland. It was marvellous to see such a strong and vibrant tradition and passion for rowing with all the clubs in Killarney."
Tobias Garnett of Cambridge Boat Club gave further praise to the town's efforts over the weekend: "It is unbelievable to think there are six rowing clubs, in one town. With each producing wonderful oarsmen and women who have represented Ireland at world level, it is an amazing achievement."
"We've had a wonderful time in Killarney, enjoying the hospitality and friendly rivalry of the clubs both on and off the water," he added.
A wonderful spectacle of boats from the coastal fraternity of South Kerry, added to the colour and splendour of boating life on the Lakes of Killarney. The traditional Seine boat race with a crew of 12 strong bare-chested men, normally raced on the South Kerry Atlantic seaboard, saw 30 minutes of sheer adrenaline, sweat pumping action sweeping along the islands and mountain shores of Killarney's Lake District, normally the reserve of the more gentile rowing and fishing boats. The race was won by Sneem Rowing Club.
During the weekend both Oxford and Cambridge crews visited Muckross Rowing Club, the oldest Rowing Club in Ireland, while also taking in the atmosphere of Killarney town. There was a reception at the Laurels Bar on Saturday night, where they sampled Guinness in many of the local pubs and night clubs.