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
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