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Rowing: Mixed bag of results for Irish crews at Royal Regatta

It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Irish crews at Henley Royal Regatta as five days of colour and spectacle at the most famous rowing regatta in the world got under way.

Belfast were the first Irish crew on show when they drew the students of Bristol university in the first round of the club eights event.

After a slower start, the lighter Belfast men soon found their rhythm and developed a lead of three lengths, allowing them to drop their rate approaching the line, which they reached just over two lengths ahead of Bristol.

In the club coxless fours both Cork and their Henley opposition had problems with their steering off the start as the wind eddied around the top of the island.

But when they both settled, a close race developed and the crews were still level after 3/4 mile, before a sustained push by the Cork men allowed them to take the second Irish win of the day by one length.

In their own heat of the coxless fours Commercial had similar problems off the start against the Canadians of Gorge Rowing Club, almost hitting the booms before correcting back on course. But when Gorge suffered the same fate it proved disastrous as Commercial seized the opportunity, going on to a four-length win.

In the club coxed fours event Garda Siochana drew Kingston, who led by 3/4 length after 1/4 mile before the Garda came right back into the race and reduced the deficit to only a canvas over the next half mile. But the partisan roar of the crowd lifted Kingston who moved out to take a verdict of 1 3/4 lengths.

But the vocal support of the Irish couldn't lift TCD when they drew Harvard University in their heat of the student eights. TCD were always attacking hard but the Americans gradually moved away to a two length win.