Regatta success on and off the River

Louis O'Halloran and Cormac Maguire celebrate victory for UCD.INPT1716-425

Louis O'Halloran and Cormac Maguire celebrate victory for UCD.INPT1716-425

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Success arrived on and off the water on Saturday for Portadown Boat Club as the River Bann outfit enjoyed a boost in profile alongside an impressive roll of honour.

The annual showpiece attracted clubs from across Ireland - with Coleraine-based Bann on 11 wins, Neptune from Dublin clocking up nine and Enniskillen’s Portora registering eight.

Portadown, as hosts, finished on four wins from a regatta which served up a 145-race programme.

“The regatta is always a big day for the club and any success comes down to teamwork from a dedicated group of volunteers,” said Matthew McAdam, the Portadown Boat Club captain. “This year marked my first as captain and the feedback from the day has been positive.

“At worst, we were 12 minutes behind schedule but managed to get back on track by the end.

“It is about trying to balance the role of the club as hosts, an opportunity to welcome the general public down to the clubhouse and, of course, to offer the rowers competitive experience on the water.

“The logistics of juggling the schedule, especially when it comes to finals with rowers in multiple races, can be a test but we have some seasoned people around the club.

“Communication across the board is obviously important and it was also nice to have four wins for the club.

“Some of the crews may only have been together for a number of weeks and Saturday marked a competitive debut for other rowers.

“It does not end with the regatta and we have a packed club programme at home and away.

“One of our programmes is connected to the FlowNI.com project and we have adult coaching sessions on May 15 at the cost of just £5 per person, with places still open via the website or Facebook page.

“It is about increasing the interest in the sport and club as much as possible.”