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DateLine Sunday, 1 July 2007

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Colombo fancied to repeat last year's success

ROWING: The Colombo Rowing Club, the holders of the Deepam Challenge Trophy since 2003, are strongly favoured to retain the title for fifth successive year over arch rivals Madras Boat Club at the 70th edition of the Madras - Colombo Regatta to be held on Saturday (July 7) on the Beira Waters. The Colombo oarsmen and oarswomen proved their class last year beating Madras in Chennai by 32 points to 10.

Devaka Seneviratne, the captain of the club told the 'Sunday Observer' that the 24 - member Colombo Rowing Club crew has begun training under coach Chevantha Sirimanne, former Thomian and national oarsman in preparation for this prestigious regatta. According to all available records this regatta makes it the oldest inter-club boat race in the world.

It is also a fact that the regatta is the oldest in the region and perhaps boasts of a history comparable to that of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race.

According to a senior official, the tally stands at 36 wins to Madras and 33 wins for Colombo Rowing Club. The Deepam Challenge Trophy (which means lamp) was donated by the Madras Boat Club in 1973.

In 1968 for the first time, a ladies event was introduced. The most significant aspect of all, however, is the fact that after 69th time of rowing the spirit of the regatta is still very much alive. According to the President of Colombo Rowing Club Sanjev Perera and T. Badradri of Madras Boat Club, the regatta has been keenly contested and it has brought out a high standard of rowing by both teams.

The oarsmen and oarswomen will compete in ten events. The men will participate in the 'A' and 'B' sculls, 'A' and 'B' pairs, 'A' and 'B' fours and veteran fours. Meanwhile the women will row in sculls, pairs and fours. Madras Boat Club crew will arrive on July 5 and the squad comprises 10 oarsmen, 5 oars women, 4 veteran rowers and 2 officials. The heats will be worked off on July 6 and all finals on Saturday July 7.

leslie@sundayobserver.lk 

 

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