Out of a field of thirteen crews the stern IV qualified with ease for the final of the intermediate coxed IV event. It was really a two boat final, with UCG and Garda battling it out for pole position. Despite our best efforts, UCG (6.37) held out for a two-thirds of a length victory, with Garda second (6.39), Muckross third (6.47) and UCD fourth (6.49). The Irish Times (21/7/97) reported:
The championships were watched by one of the biggest crowds seen at an Irish Regatta for many years and the competition was of the highest standard with perfect rowing conditions.
Tony Morrissey remembers the final of the Intermediate VIII Championship:
Both crews made the final as expected. Crew talks were given, the future of the club was at hand, all the effort during the year and everyone knew there would only be a few seconds after six minutes of hard racing between winners and losers. UCD also had a fast eight that year which competed at Henley in the Temple Challenge Cup and were very quick, so it wasn’t going to be easy. We raced our hearts out and scored a magnificent victory over worthy opponents with the Defence Forces second and UCD third. We entered the elite eights event and gave the Defence Forces a second opportunity. But no way were we going to be beaten. The race was won by an excellent Neptune crew which was full of seasoned oarsmen.
Irish Intermediate VIII Champions, 1997
Bow Cathal Brennan (5) John Dillon
(2) Andy O’Brien
(3) Kenny McDonald (7) Ciaran Hoey