On a sunny Saturday morning the Inst 1st VIII took to the water to take on the best School VIII’s from across Ireland.
The first stage was a time-trial over 1,500metres from Ravenhill Reach to the finish-line at the Queen’s Physical Education Centre. The RBAI boys (Rory Hulatt, Ben Robinson, Mark Stewart, Brent Whiteside, Josh Hoy, Louis Magowan, Lucas Prodohl, Aled George & Andrew Mallon) put in a solid performance and although coming under a lot of pressure from a fast finishing crew from Portora RS, they held them off on the line and even managed to nose ahead of BlackrockCollege from Dublin.
In their final the RBAI Rowing Club VIII were drawn against BlackrockCollege. As the afternoon drew on the heat seemed to get even more stifling, and in the baking conditions the boys put in a steady start in order to form a solid race platform. As mid-race beckoned the Inst crew were half a length down, but started to build on their pace. The speed increased as did the confidence and the boys moved through, past and away from their Dublin rivals. As they came through the Ormeau bridge the boys had turned a half length disadvantage into a length and a half lead, in not much over 300 metres. But this wasn’t enough. As they raced to the finish-line they continued to move away steadily and powerfully. In the end they had a three-and-a-half length winning margin, the biggest of the day’s finals.
Well done to all the boys and coaches for their efforts in helping make the day run so smoothly. And thank you to the parents and friends of the Club who came out in large numbers to cheer on and support the crew.