Rowing Club recognises Oarsman and Benefactor

Bann Rowing Club recently recognised the participation in and contribution to the Club by Robin Hulf, a longstanding member of the Master’s Squad who sadly passed away as the result of an illness in November 2015, by conferring on him one of greatest compliments to any oarsman, the naming of a boat after him.

Robin, who was also a member of London Rowing Club and an ex-international oarsman who successfully represented Scotland and the British Army, rowed and won at many events throughout the island of Ireland with the Master’s Squad at Bann Rowing Club including the annual Carrick-on Shannon regatta which he and his wife Isobel loved to attend.

On a beautiful Saturday morning in mid-August members of the Club had great pleasure to invite Isobel, herself an accomplished oarswoman during her student days in London and who hails from Ballymoney, to unveil the Robin Hulf – a coxed four/quad and the most recent addition to the Club’s fleet of boats.

In the presence of many young members of the club, including those who represented Rowing Ireland at various levels on the international stage in 2017, and a number of members of Isobel’s family and close friends, Club Captain Keith Leighton reminded those gathered of Robin’s devotion and his invaluable contribution to Bann Rowing Club both as an oarsman and benefactor. “It was with great pleasure” he said “that we take this opportunity to recognise Robin’s involvement with the club by naming a boat in his honour”.

Having unveiled the Robin Hulf, and christened it with Bann water, Isobel responded to Keith reminding those present of Robin’s great passion for rowing and his fondness for Bann Rowing Club and its members. Isobel recalled how he was particularly impressed and delighted with the success of the club in producing oarsmen and oarswoman who successfully competed at the highest level, including the Olympics, having been grounded in a small provincial club with highly committed and competent coaches.

However Robin’s delight in the Club wasn’t restricted to its senior level success. Isobel reminded those gathered of how Robin loved to see people row just for the love of the sport. Bann’s success at attracting so many oarsmen and oarswoman who enjoyed and appreciated the opportunities afforded to them through their rowing on the river Bann caused him the greatest of pleasure she said.

Isobel recounted a number of Robin’s exploits with the Master’s Squad, referring particularly to his unforgettable row to the Barmouth, an outing he would refer back to often, and his participation in the annual Marathon Row from Lough Neagh, through 4 sets of locks, to the Clubhouse to help raise much needed funds.

Robin’s influence in rowing circles reached the highest levels. In 2004 he established the All Party Parliamentary Rowing Group to promote the sport of rowing. One of the Group’s first task was to lobby for the installation of the finish tower at Eton Dorney lake in preparation for the 2006 World Championships. In 2007 Robin established the annual Parliamentary Boat Race, a race on the Thames between members of the House of Lords and members of the House of Commons, an event which helped raise much needed funds for various charities.

Robin’s work with this group was recognised with the awarding of the Robin Hulf Memorial Cup to the winner of the annual Parliamentary Boat Race. His contribution to the sport having also been previously rewarded when he was conferred as a Freeman of the City of London and a Freeman of the Company of Waterman and Lightermen.

Thanking Club members at the end of an emotional response, Isobel said how delighted Robin would have been to have a boat named after him in a Club he loved so much.

Once the formalities were over those present enjoyed champagne and smoked salmon canapes, something, Isobel said, Robin would have found to be very agreeable indeed.

November 17th, 2017

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