Belfast Social Sprint Regatta

Belfast Social Sprint Regatta

At the Carrick-on –Shannon Sprint Regatta 2010 the Bann masters had wins in the 4’s and the big racing “8”.  Unfortunately they suffered tragic bad luck whilst losing in the double and single sculls.

A complete reversal of fortunes occurred at the Belfast Social Sprint Regatta on Sat. 28th August, when a different Bann ‘4’ lost to BBC and a composite Bann/BRC “eight” narrowly lost to BBC by a canvas.

Simon Hamilton won an exciting single sculls tussle against Steven Lockwood, and with another Bann win in the double sculls semi-final against BBC’s Milligan & Thomas set up a final between Bann’s Smyth & Hamilton against BBC’s Campbell & big Charlie Cunningham.  In the final things went smoothly at the start for the Bann men, and they soon established a 5 length lead when disaster struck.  Steering close to the buoys on the racing line, Smyth, at bow, pulverised a buoy and the oar bounced out of his hand.  This is usually instant disaster in a racing double, and the liberated oar now had a life of its own.  Mesmerized, Smyth watched as his blade handle, travelling full tilt, struck Simon Hamilton’s head, knocking his Baseball cap into the murky Lagan water.  Miraculously, Smyth’s left hand somehow clutched the handle of his blade in mid-air, and, as Hamilton regained consciousness, and the BBC boat drew level, Smyth called ” backstops, ready, row”, and the Bann double sped off again, minus the stroke man’s cap.  The Bann men avoided all further obstacles and won the dramatic race by some 4 lengths.

After the racing Simon took to the water in his scull and managed to rescue his baseball hat.  Smyth withdrew to the bar and tried to steady his nerves by drinking pints of “goodness” and recalling the race story time and time again.  Who says veteran rowing isn’t eventful?

August 30th, 2010

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