IUC 2018 Rowing| Another Year Brings upon Familiar Winners as the Norm Continues

While the still-under-construction Lotus Tower decorated its scenery, the Inter University Rowing Championship began at the hour past noon as the oarsmen and women splashed somewhat greenish waters of the Beira Lake to conquer the rowing battlefield. Unlike most of the University Championships, only two universities have yet been able to boast the participation in the Rowing Championship: University of Moratuwa and University of Colombo. As these two universities re-entered the rowing waters this year, once again, the women’s championship came down to a matter of just nine milliseconds, the margin which finally crowned UOC as the women’s champions. Meanwhile, Mora whitewashed the men’s tournament winning it for the record 11th consecutive year as Colombo barely proved to be a real competition.


The first race of the women’s category, B-pair game, almost ended earning the first win for the Colombo girls, but as the judges ruled out the result, pointing out that the Colombo girls’ boat entered the Mora girls’ rowing lane, the final 500m was re-raced. This time, Colombo pair, Lahiru and Isuri, apparently exhausted following the initial race, trailed Mora girls, Rangika and Senuri, by a significant gap as they raced towards an easy win. A win in the first game in the tournament must have been a huge relief for Mora women who were victims of a whitewash by the Colombo team in the previous year. Boosted by this win, Mora girls fought hard to earn themselves the championship, and went on to win all B races, but failed in all the A races, which cost them the title.


With rather comfortable wins, Chethana and Upuli won the women’s A-pair race, Chethana, again, won the A-scull race earning Colombo the points that proved to be invaluable in the long run. Ashni won the B-pair game in a close encounter against UOC’s Nethmi providing Mora with much-needed points to stay alive in the tournament. The final two races, women’s B-four and A-four, became the highlight of the whole tournament as the victory, not only of a single race but also of the tournament, tilted from one side to another even when you dared to blink. In the first race, B-four, Mora came back from behind in the final few meters surpassing UOC from overall points for the moment. This win inevitably gave the A-four race the power to decide who brings the trophy back home.


The A-four game, living up to its expectations, didn’t let either team secure the trophy that easily. UOC closed on to final meters with a long-kept lead that Mora threatened to overtake in a matter of seconds. Mora paced up as the finishing line drew closer, and for a while appeared to be sealing another comeback to secure the title to its name. Had they raced for one more second, they could have been the winners and the champions as the final clock showed only a nine-millisecond difference between the two teams. For the much joy of UOC rowing crew though, they didn’t. In the end, there was only a familiar tale to say about the UOC women’s rowing team: another year, another championship.


The Men’s rowing races lacked the entertainment and the excitement the women’s races provided as Mora boys could sweep aside their opponents without much hassle. They recorded comfortable wins in the B-scull, A-scull, and B-pair races with Sajithan, Damian, and Bhahavan and Chathusha rowing as the oarsmen in the respective races. Men’s A-pair race saw the return of some excitement to the Men’s games as Damian and Amindu came back from behind to beat UOC in the A-pair game. The two oarsmen secured their lead in the final 50m of the race as Mora spectators cheered for them on the shores.


Men’s A-four and B-four games completed Mora’s whitewash as the two crews beat UOC in the respective races with a margin that only grew as the finishing line drew closer. The UOC team turned out to be a no match for the UOM men as they secured the title once again. What was true for the UOC women turned out to be true for the UOM men as well.


Another Inter University Rowing championship came to an end as the victors collected their trophies with a celebration in their minds and losers reflexed on what went wrong for them. And the darkness hovered over the Beira Lake making its ripples no longer visible. Until these oarsmen and women meet head to head next year, it’s time for us to congratulate the winners and say a short goodbye to the Inter University Rowing arena once again.


Article By: Anjalee Sudasinghe

Edited By: Janani Kulasekara

Sponsored By: LSEG Technology


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