Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Oxford & Cambridge Boat Clubs to Row in Killarney Rowing Festival

22nd July 2013
Oxford & Cambridge Boat Clubs to Row in Killarney Rowing Festival

#rowing – Killarney Rowing Festival will celebrate the oldest regatta in the world and wonderful rowing tradition on the Lakes of Killarney, on Sunday 28th July, 2013, at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, Killarney, County Kerry. The Festival will host the World most coveted rivals, Oxford and Cambridge Boat Club.The unique event also co-insides with 'The Gathering Ireland 2013' a Tourism Ireland initiative honouring Ireland's Diaspora and historical and cultural links to Ireland. Killarney's tourism success owes much to the visit of Queen Victoria to Killarney in 1861.

The Annual KillarneyRegatta in now in its 228th year is the oldest traditional regatta in the World, steeped in history and raced on Lough Lein, one of the famous Lakes of Killarney. There are five remaining active clubs in the town and hinterland of Killarney, each operating from various boathouses along the shores of Lough Lein. The Clubs, namely, Muckross Rowing Club, Flesk Valley RC, Workmen's RC, Commercials RC, St Brendan's RC, and Fossa RC. The Type of boat is unique to the Lakes of Killarney and known as 'The Killarney Sixes' wooden in structure, wooden oar, fixed seat, the boats were originally designed and built by Salters in Oxford.

Both Oxford and Cambridge Boat Clubs were delighted to receive the invitation and will be joining the Killarney Rowing fraternity for the weekend. Flights to Kerry Airport, two nights accommodation, have been kindly sponsored by Tourism Ireland, with Killarney Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and Killarney Branch of the Irish Hoteliers Federation providing accommodation. The boats will be ready and waiting at the pier at O'Mahoney's Point, Killarney Golf and Fishing Club.

Speaking about the event, Festival Director Andrew Wharton commented " it's one of those classic events for Killarney, the perfect location and a wonderful way to celebrate our rowing tradition. The cultural links that have bound this sport together, with the famous Caseys of Sneem, the Great River Race in London which has been won by many Killarney Clubs. As a sport, rowing keeps getting more popular, especially with all clubs embracing many types of rowing, be it, coastal, sliding, gig and fixed seat racing. It means rowing continues all year round. It will be such a spectacle to see so much colour and life on Lough Lein. The Killarney people have welcomed the festival, their generosity is breathtaking. They know the importance of the heritage, History and of course the friendly rivalry that binds us all together..Oxford and Cambridge will definitely be having a fantastic time in Killarney"

The Festival will be a day of fun and celebration, and will see Oxford and Cambridge competing with the coastal boats of South and Mid Kerry and the most coveted race of the day, Killarney Rowing Clubs taking on the world's greatest rivals, for the famous 'Lakes of Killarney 'Salter's Cup' which was won the famous Casey Brothers of Sneem on three occasions in the 1920's and 30's.Noel Casey Stephen and Paddy Casey will be on hand to present the precious Cup. The first race of the day (11.45) is the Irish Universities v Oxford and Cambridge. There are 11 races in total, including U14/U16, boys and boys, open races, intermediate and senior races, in both Killarney sixes and coastal boats.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: "We are delighted that the Oxford and Cambridge boat clubs will travel here for the Killarney Rowing Festival, particularly in this special year of The Gathering Ireland. Since last year, Tourism Ireland has been promoting The Gathering Ireland extensively in Great Britain and elsewhere around the world, targeting millions of people who have ancestral links to Ireland, or those who have an affinity for the destination and all things Irish. Millions of people in GB have connections with Ireland and we are reaching out to them, encouraging them to come home for what is a truly special year."

A true spectacle on the day will be the site of 100 strong South Kerry men rowing The Seine Boat Race, unique to South Kerry. Historically the Seine Boat was used by fishermen to haul fish captured in floating nets. Seine Boats are timber built vessels with 12 oarsmen and a coxswain who calls out the stroke. The Regattas in South Kerry are held in Cromane, Ballinskelligs, Waterville, Valentia, Portmagee, Cahirciveen, Caherdaniel, Sneem,Over the Water, and Templenoe. The race is usually over eight grueling kilometers.The Seine Boat races are a true test of strength, endurance and team work.

During the weekend both Oxford and Cambridge crews will pay a visit to Muckross house for lunch and take a boat tour on lakes of Killarney, to showcase the famous scenery and landscape with an emphasis of the importance of Queen Victoria's historical trip to Killarney and Muckross in 1861. There will be an opportunity for the crews to visit Queen Victoria's Barge in the 'Old Boat House' at Muckross. A Civic Reception at The Lake Hotel, Killarney will be hosted by Killarney Town Council later that Saturday afternoon. Both crews will be free to savour Killarney's wonderful night life. All Rowing Clubs will be ready action on Sunday 28th at 10.00am at O'Mahoney's Point for a practice run on the 'Killarney sixes'.

Another Highlight of the Day will be The Tug O' War' competition - refereed by Henry Clifton, one of the greats in Rowing. clubs and organisations are being encouraged to enter teams for two great charities - Brendan Heffernan's Mercy Hospital Oncology Unit Fund and The Palliative Care Unit Kerry General Hospital. Brendan is Honorary Treasure of Workmen's Rowing Club and is receiving treatment at the Mercy Hospital, to date he has raised over €10,000.

The Killarney Golf and Fishing Club are delighted to be the venue of this year's Festival, providing car parking facilities, a BBQ , outdoor children's activities and refreshments. The local rowing clubs will provide the traditional sandwiches, tea and buns to the rowers all part of a perfect regatta day. All we need is the weather!.

Rowing plays an enormous part of the sporting life in Killarney, in the 2008 Olympic Games, Three Killarney Oarsmen rowed for Ireland - Paul Griffin, Sean Casey and Cathal Moynihan, all members of Muckross Rowing Club, Ireland's oldest rowing club.

For further information:Valerie O'Sullivan contact 087-2629375/[email protected]

Published in Rowing Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating