THE River Barrow was over run with paddlers, rowers, and cots at the weekend in Graignamanagh as the traditional regatta took place on Sunday and a competitive rowing regetta took to the river on Monday.
Huge crowds turned out to prticipate in the fun and festivities on Sunday. Participants swam, dived and splashed their way through events including swimming and diving competitions and the ever popular rope challenge. The rope challenge was open to all brave enough to take it on. The aim was to climb across a rope suspended over the river in order to claim a bag. The challenge is more a spectator’s sport as most of the participants end up plunging into the river.
This year’s Graig regetta saw the return of traditional cots to the river. The cots which were built as part of a Kilkenny Leader Project have always been associated with rivers in the South east. The Graig regetta was one of the last enclaves of the traditional cot racing regatta, but this year a team from Thomastown who had also built cots as part of the Leader project took part in races against the Graig cot men.
Monday was a day dedicated completely to racing. Eight rowing clubs from around the country, including the Neptune club and Trintiy Rowing club made their way to Graignamanagh to participate in 52 races.
In total almost 150 competitors were in Graignamanagh to pit their rowing sculls against each other. With so many competitors and races to be run boats were crossing the start line nearly every five minutes.
Brian Roberts who is involved with Graignamanagh Rowing club said that the event was a great success. He said that over the ten years of the club they have come along way. “People can see how far we have come. That we can now compete and we can beat people from all over the country.”
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