Rowing has been a sporting option at Inst since the 1950’s and Inst remains one of only 4 schools in Northern Ireland to offer the facilities which allow boys to participate in such an activity. Training takes place at the purpose-built Boat House in Stranmillis, South Belfast. The Inst Rowing Club offers a great opportunity to participate in this fun, energetic, outdoor team sport. The Club competes at events all over Ireland and the UK, including attending the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta.

Invitation to come and see RBAI Rowing Club in action:

This Saturday, 16th May, is the Belfast Sprints Regatta on the Boathouse straight in Stranmillis.

The racing will commence at 10-00am with the first RBAI crews taking to the water at 10-48am.  The races will be coming down the 500 metre course approximately every 4 minutes until the regatta ends at 4-30pm.

There are a total of 16 Inst boats taking to the water to compete in the two-lane event over the course of the day, so feel free to come down to the river and get close to the action!!  There are a number of excellent spots to watch the racing from, including the Governors bridge (to be close to the start and watch the crews all the way down the course), Cutters Wharf or Lagan Scullers’ Club (to get close to the action as the crews power by in the middle of the race) or the RBAI Rowing Club boathouse (to get the best view of the finish line).  Wherever you choose to watch make sure you cheer on the RBAI Rowing Club contingent as they race for medals against the best crews from Northern Ireland.

For more information about the event please check out

Rowing: Crew arrangements for BRC Sprints 16th May

Please find below a list of all the events, crews, times, lanes (Antrim is the boat club side and Down is the Annadale embankment side of the river), rounds and opponents we will be up against at BRC Sprints on Saturday.

A few things to note:

  • The times stated are the race times for you and your crew, so every member of the crew should be at the boathouse 90 minutes before this scheduled time to check over their boat, get stretched, warmed-up and discuss tactics with your coach.
  • All crews to be around their boat 30 minutes before their race time and on the water at least 25 minutes before their race start to get a full race prep warm-up done.
  • Racing kit must be worn for each race…as per usual.
  • Bring plenty of food and drink to have over the course of the day, as well as any study materials you may need…tables will be available for studying at.
  • Anyone who has not yet given me a passport photo for your racing licence should bring one with them on Saturday to enable you to get your medals for any wins you achieve.
  • Remember you will only be racing in the finals listed below if you make it through your relevant heat!!
  • If there are any problems between now and tomorrow morning please contact the School (and leave a message for me) or Lucas Prodohl to let us know of your unavailability.
  • Once you have finished your races for the day you are free to go, but let your coach know you are leaving, just in case last minute changes to crews are required.
  • Be sure to get well rested tonight and ready for racing!!

Crews and race times:

Event                    Crew                                                                                     Race time            Lane      Round                   Opp

J16 1x                    Hetherington                                                                     10-48                     Down    Heat                      PRS

J18 1x                    Reid                                                                                       10-52                     Down    Final                       BRC

J16 2x – B             Lavery, Glynn                                                                    11-20                     Ant         Heat                      R.O.

J16 2x – A            Dickson, Hetherington                                                   11-24                     Down    Heat                      MCB

Nov 4x+ -B          Emery, Dickson, Lavery, Craig, Hulatt                      11-32                     Ant         Heat                      BBC

Nov 4x+ - A         Patterson, Bowman, Lowry, Patterson, Honan   11-36                     Ant         Heat                      MCB

J16 1x                    Hetherington                                                                     11-40                     Ant         Final                       -

Nov 4x+ - B         Emery, Dickson, Lavery, Craig, Hulatt                      12-04                     Down    Final                       -

Nov 4x+ - A         Patterson, Bowman, Lowry, Patterson, Honan   12-04                     Ant         Final                       -

J16 2x – B             Lavery, Glynn                                                                    12-12                     Ant         Final                       -

J16 2x – A            Dickson, Hetherington                                                   12-12                     Down    Final                       -

Club 2x                 Prodohl, Mallon                                                                12-24                     Ant         Heat                      BRC

Club 2x                 Prodohl, Mallon                                                                13-04                     Down    Final                       MCB

J15 1x                    Glynn                                                                                    13-12                     Ant         Heat                      R.O.

J18 2x                    Harley, Whiteside                                                            13-16                     Ant         Final                       BRC

Nov 1x                  Patterson. Darragh                                                          13-24                     Down    Heat                      BBC

J16 4x+                 Emery, Dickson, Hetherington, Glynn, Honan     13-52                     Ant         Heat                      MCB

Club 4+                 Gaston, Hoy, Patterson, Craig, Hulatt                      14-00                     Ant         Final                       BRC

J18 4x-                  Reid, Whiteside, Harley, Gaston                                14-28                     Down    Final                       MCB

Nov 1x                  Patterson. Darragh                                                          14-40                     Down    Final                       BBC

J15 1x                    Glynn                                                                                    15-00                     Down    Final                       MCB

Club 1x                 Reid                                                                                       15-16                     Ant         Heat                      LSC

J16 4x+                 Emery, Dickson, Hetherington, Glynn, Honan     15-32                     Down    Final                       MCB

Nov 2x – A          Emery, Harley                                                                    15-40                     Down    Heat                      RBAI

Nov 2x – B           Lowry, Patterson. David                                                15-40                     Ant         Heat                      RBAI

Club 1x                 Reid                                                                                       16-16                     Ant         Final                       -

Nov 2x – A          Emery, Harley                                                                    16-20                     Down    Final                       BBC

Nov 2x – B           Lowry, Patterson. David                                                16-20                     Down    Final                       BBC

Rowing Results: Queens Regatta

Queen’s Regatta, 9th May 2015

Last Saturday, in the scenic setting of Castlewellan Forest Park, crews from all over Ireland descended upon the lake to compete in the Queen’s Regatta. The conditions for racing were perfect, with bright sunshine and a gentle tail-wind following the crews down the 6-lane course.

The racing commenced with Harry Hetherington in the first race of the day, a heat of the Junior 16 1x. Off the start Harry got well into the race and dropped two boats from St Michaels, Limerick, and was racing closely with Three Castles, Dublin and Methodist College, Belfast. Over the 1,500 metre course no more than 1 length separated all three boats. Coming into the final 500 metres Harry made a push and moved up from third to second and started to challenge MCB for the lead, but in the closing 150 metres the Three Castles sculler attacked and moved swiftly from third to first. With only two crews making it through to the final Harry missed out by the narrowest of margins coming third at the line.

The next event was the Junior 18 1x of Nick Reid. Nick had won this event the previous weekend at Portadown, but knew the competition would have stepped up a level. In a heat of three boats, only the top two would qualify. Off the start Nick dropped to third and worked hard to find his rhythm. He finally found it and started to push back on the sculler from Commercial, Dublin. He was reeling him in over the entire course, but the distance lost at the start proved crucial, as RBAI missed out on a final spot again in agonising circumstances.

The Junior 16 coxed quad of Michael Honan, Harry Hetherington, Jamie Dickson, Tom Glynn and James Emery was the first Inst crew out after lunch and they were the first crew of the day to make it through some tough heats. Their race featured Portadown, Methodist and Three Castles. After a solid start they managed to competently pull away from Portadown to secure a top three finish and a final berth. In their final they faced the same Methodist and Three Castle crews, as well as Bann Rowing Club, Commercial and St Michaels. The boys opted for an aggressive approach and attacked hard from the start. They were up with the race pace initially but in the second half dropped back to unfortunately finish 6th. It is a good step forward for a young and developing crew.

Next up was the Junior 18 2x of Brent Whiteside and Angus Harley. This crew was disappointed to underperform in their final in Portadown and went off in suitably aggressive fashion to try and make amends. The race was very close, with the opposition from Methodist, Carlow and Commercial just managing to slip away over the distance. In the closing few hundred metres the crew were unable to pull back the margin and missed out on qualification by a single spot.

The last two events of the day featured three RBAI crews set on making up for their frustrations earlier in the regatta. In the men’s novice coxed quad, two Inst crews (Harry Hetherington, James Emery, Morgan Lavery, Daniel Lowry and Patterson in the “A” boat and Michael Honan, Conor Craig, Jamie Dickson, Peter Bowman and Darragh Patterson in the “B” boat) lined up against each other along with crews from Queen’s University, Belfast Rowign Club and Methodist College. After solid starts from both boats them found themselves ahead of both Queen’s boats and racing for podium spots. The “B” boat was trying to chase down the Belfast crew for second, but was being kept honest by the “A” boat in fourth. At the line the crews remained in that order in a very good performance from some young and inexperienced oarsmen.

The last event was the Junior 18 coxless quad of Nick Reid, Angus Harley, Brent Whiteside and Michael Gaston. After some earlier heartache the boys were set on putting in a good performance against some strong opposition from Commercial and Carlow, two powerhouses in Irish junior sculling. Off the start the three crews were dead-level and they remained like this for 1,250metres of the course. It was the tightest race of the day and it was anyone’s to take. At the line the boys final push brought them home in second place. A very good result at the end of a difficult day at the office, against some classy opposition.

Well done to all the boys over the day and thank you to all the supporters and coaches (Mr Warnock and Miss Piele) for their contributions.

The next event for the Club will be this Saturday, 16th May, at Belfast Sprints Regatta on the boathouse straight at Stranmillis. More details will follow later in the week.

Arrangements for Rowers competing at Queen’s Regatta

Meet at boat club – 6-30am – NR/HH/JH

Load mini-bus and leave for Castlewellan – 6-45am

Arrive in Castlewellan – 7-30am

Unload trailer and rig necessary boats:   J18 1x, J16 1x, Club 1x

Second group arrive in Castlewellan Forest Park no later than 12pm – MG/AH/BW/CC/DP1/PB/CH/JD/JE/TG/DL/ML/DP2/MH

Rig:         J18 4x-, J18 2x, J16 4x+, Nov. 4x+ A, Nov. 4x+ B

The boats will be de-rigged and loaded back on the trailer once they have finished being used for the day.

Trailer and bus leave Castlewellan –  7-00pm (at the latest, potentially earlier, depending upon draw)

Arrive back at Boat House – 7-45pm (approx.)

Returning on bus – NR/MG/HH/AH/CC/DP1/PB/CH/JE/JD/TG/DL/ML/DP2/MH

Once you have finished racing for the day and de-rigged your boat(s) and tied it to the trailer you may go.  It is imperative, however, that you tell either Mr Warnock, or myself, in person that you are leaving and are travelling home with a parent or guardian previously approved by your parents!!  The above list is for those who can return to the boathouse by mini-bus.  If your name is there but you know you will be making your own way home then please speak to me, or call the School front office asap.  There may be additional space for anyone who needs a lift to the Boat House.  Also, anyone additional to the list at the top who would like a lift to Castlewellan in the morning should call the School front office and leave a message or speak to myself asap.

The forecast is not too bad for Saturday but ensure you bring appropriate clothing, as little shelter will be available during the day.  Also, bring sufficient food and water for the day, as well as some study materials (not laptops/ipads) as there should be plenty of time throughout the day to get some additional studying done.  Also, bring your own 10mm and 13mm spanners to allow for quicker rigging/de-rigging.  Make sure you have appropriate racing kit with you along with additional layers for your warm-up.

Finally, if you are being collected/dropped off please encourage your family to stay around for a while to support you and your crew-mates.

Any problems see me asap or ring the School front office (028 90 240461) and leave a message.



J18 1x – NR

J16 1x – HH

Club 1x – JH

J18 4x- - NR,BW,AH,MG

J18 2x – BW,AH

J16 4x+ - HH,JD,JE,TG,MH

Novice 4x+ -       ‘A’ – JE,ML,DL,DP2,MH


Rowing Results: Portadown Regatta 2015

Last Saturday, 2nd May, saw RBAI Rowing Club take to a very rough Bann river to compete against a number of clubs from all over Ireland at the Portadown Regatta. There was a very strong tail-wind blowing along the finishing straight all day, making the conditions wintery, the paddle to the start very tiring and the race to the finish very nervy as the white horses tried their best to hold onto the athletes oars and prevent them rowing smoothly.

RBAI travelled with a total of 13 crews, composing a mixture of experienced athletes, entering their final regatta season, to beginners who had only been rowing for 6 months. The racing at Portadown takes place on a 1,000metre two-lane course, with two tricky bends included. This tests even the most experienced crews as they can easily get caught out by the difficult steering requirements.

Racing early in the day was the Club 2x of Josh Hoy and Andrew Mallon. Being over-age this year means Andrew and Josh must compete against older and significantly more experienced athletes in the open categories. They were dealt a blow when they came up against the favoured home crew who put together a solid start and a strong middle phase of their race to finish 2 lengths ahead.

The Junior 16 4x+ of Harry Hetherington, Jamie Dickson, James Emery, Tom Glynn and Michael Honan were having their first competitive outing, with new oarsman Tom replacing Sam Kennedy who is off injured. In their heat against Neptune from Dublin, they put in a solid start but found themselves slightly down. In the middle of the race they made all the right moves and slowly worked their way back into contention and then into the lead. As they exited the final corner they had about a 6 foot lead, but Neptune were rallying. Over the final few hundred metres the rough conditions on the boathouse side of the course caught out the Inst crew and they started to fall back. In the end they finished ½ length down, but should take comfort from a very strong first outing for such a young crew.

The Junior 18 4+ of Michael Gaston, Conor Craig, Darragh Patterson, Peter Bowman and Michael Honan and the Junior 18 8+ of Brent Whiteside, Angus Harley, Jamie Dickson, James Emery, Conor Craig, Peter Bowman, Michael Gaston, Darragh Patterson and Michael Honan had probably the toughest draws of the day. Both of these crews came up against Bann Rowing Club who have been Championship contenders in the junior sweep categories. With little experience, but a lot of heart the two RBAI boats set out to upset the odds. In both cases the task was too great, but the crews should be pleased with their efforts and with the knowledge that next time they race they will be much closer.

The Junior 18 2x of Angus Harley and Brent Whiteside have been getting stronger and stronger in recent weeks, but an illness in the crew only a week ago put a question mark over their ability to perform on the day. In the end they performed exceptionally well, beating Carrick-on-Shannon comfortably in their heat and then dispatching a CAI crew equally comfortably in their semi-final. In the final they faced a strong Bann line-up. The long day of racing was starting to show on the pairing and after jumping straight out of one boat and into the 2x to go up for their final they were denied a chance to fight for the win by some questionable steering off the start, in very testing conditions. Well done to the crew for making it all the way to their final.

In the heat of the Club 1x, Nick Reid faced a very tough race from a gutsy sculler from Carrick-on-Shannon but Nick was more than equal to the task. He showed good strength and composure to ease ahead early on and never let the opposition back into the race. In the final Nick faced a sculler form Poartadown. This sculler had earlier knocked out the RBAI Club 2x and he was clearly intent on getting another win. Nick pushed hard off the start but the Portadown sculler matched every move. Coming into the final straight both boats were level and this didn’t change until the line. As they crossed the finish line no-one in either boat or the bank knew who had won. The call came over that it was a home win, by a matter of inches. A frustrating end, but a good performance by both athletes.

The Junior 16 1x was one of the biggest entries of the Regatta, with a tough draw for Harry Hetherington in every round. In his heat he was up against a huge sculler from Bann Rowing Club. Harry showed great composure and skill in the rough conditions to execute a perfect race plan and bring himself home comfortably in first place. It was more of the same in the semi, when he faced a sculler Neptune. He took his time off the start and then showed his true pace in the second half of the race to bring his scull home first. In the final Harry again met a sculler from Bann. Harry again set about his race plan, which brought him down the home straight side-by-side with his opponent. In order to try and pull ahead Harry tried push after push until with 50metres to go the Bann sculler got a slight edge, which he was able to hold to the line. It was a fantastic effort by Harry against much bigger opposition, but one that I am sure will push him on to wins over the coming weeks.

One of the most impressive performances of the day has to go to the Inst Novice 4x+ of Tom Glynn, Morgan Lavery, Daniel Lowry, David Patterson and Rory Hulatt. This crew was in their first race together and in their heat faced a quad from Belfast Rowing Club. As the crew was racing Novice they could be up against anyone, as long as they were in their first competitive year of rowing, this meant their opposing crew had a 19 year-old in it, up against an RBAI crew of year 11 boys!! This did not phase the boys at all as they powered off to a strong start. They were level with the BRC boat until half-way around the first bend, when a good push took the Inst boys into the lead. This lead then extended as they got further into the course and by the end they were well ahead. In the final the boys were up against a very capable MCB boat. The Methody crew jumped off the start and made steady progress down the course. The Inst crew didn’t have an answer on that occasion but will definitely be looking for revenge when they next meet. Well done to all the crew for a very good couple of performances in incredibly tough conditions.

The other Novice crew at the Regatta was the 1x of Darragh Patterson. Darragh had shown a lot of promise in training and was keen to demonstrate this on race day. The wind was howling and the waves were getting very close to lapping into the boat as he took to the start area. Due to the conditions the umpire decided upon a running start (where the crews would not attach to the stake boats, for fear of sinking/capsizing). Off the start Darragh showed himself to be a match for his Carrick opponent. In fact this was the case all the way down the course. Push was followed by counter-push and coming onto the home straight the crews were level. In the rough conditions in the final couple of hundred metres Darragh’s steering went off momentarily, but this was enough to cause him to clip the bank. This allowed his rival to push ahead, but it was a very good effort by someone who has not spent much time in a single.

The next event featured the Junior 18 4x- of Nick Reid, Angus Harley, Brent Whiteside and Michael Gaston. This has been the RBAI flagship boat for the past two seasons and has gone undefeated in all that time. With a completely new line-up from last year this new outfit was keen to show they were a match for their predecessors. In their heat they faced a very strong Bann crew. This was their top 4 athletes and they were keen to break the Inst record. Off the start the crews were level, but approaching the first corner the RBAI boys started to find a rhythm that was taking them into the lead around the outside of the first bend. Panicked by this the Bann crew forgot about their steering and ploughed straight into the Inst boat and pinned both up against the bank. The Inst boat extracted itself and paddled through to the finish-line comfortable victors. The final had a similar feel against an MCB boat out to show what they could do. The Methody crew got out to a fast start and made the most of their bend, but as the race unfolded the RBAI crew started to push back. The further the race went on the faster the Inst boys pushed back, then level, then ahead. As they exited the final corner the Inst crew had a slim lead, but Methody were throwing everything into their race to keep ahead. In a similar way to the Bann boat the Methody crew momentarily misjudged their steering and their big push only served to cause the boat to collide with the bank. It was an unfortunate end to what could have been a classic encounter on the water between the two great Schools.

The only top-level event at the entire Regatta was the Senior 4x- and featured the RBAI crew of Josh Hoy, Lucas Prodohl, Brent Whiteside and Andrew Mallon. This is the majority of the Junior 4x- from the last two seasons, who are all over-age by Rowing Ireland rules. This event again saw RBAI up against Bann. After the problems of the Junior 18 4x- Bann were fuelled for revenge and were going all out for the win. All the way down the course there was nothing at all to separate the crews. They both pushed each other as hard as they could and brought out the best of both boats, recording one of the fastest times of the day in the process. In the final few strokes both crews did everything they could to break the opposition and give themselves a lead, but it was going to go right to the line. It was a blanket finish and no-one on the bank could tell who had taken it. The judgement came through that it was a win to RBAI by ½ canvas (about a foot). A very good win for a strong crew having had the best brought out of them by an equally good opponent.

The Club 4x+ of Josh Hoy, Lucas Prodohl, Brent Whiteside, Andrew Mallon and Michael Honan were next up against a CAI crew in their final. This crew had made a quick leap from their coxless quad to the coxed quad and the fatigue of doing two flat-out races back-to-back showed off the start. The CAI crew leapt out to an early lead and never looked back. Even holding off a spirited push in the middle of the race to beat the Inst crew by a length at the line.

The final event of the day was the Junior 18 1x of Nick Reid. Nick had to come through a heat against a Bann sculler and a semi against a fresh sculler from MCB to get to the final. He had shown a good level of strength and skill to make it there, but after 7 gruelling races over the day nothing was guaranteed. Nick made a powerful start but was unable to shake the sculler from Carrick-on-Shannon, who was throwing the kitchen sink into his final race of the weekend. As both boats entered the final few hundred metres Nick had stolen a slight lead, but only of a few feet. In the dash for the line both were pushing hard but it was Nick who managed to hang on by the slimmest of margins. Well done to Nick on making it two wins from three events for the day.

Well done to all the boys for a very strong effort in incredibly tough conditions. Of the 13 crews that competed, 10 made it to finals, where 3 picked up wins. A big thank you to all the parents who came down to support and also to the coaches, Mr Warnock, Miss Piele, Mr Hulatt and Mrs Honan for their help and direction on the day.

The next outing for the Club will be this Saturday, 9th May, at Queen’s Regatta in Castlewellan Forest Park. Details will follow later in the week.