Henley Royal Regatta, 1979 ~ In 1979 we had crews competing in the Prince Philip and Thames Challenge Cup. There were six entries for the Prince Philip Challenge Cup. Garda and Kingston R.C. were seeded and received byes to the semifinal. In the opening rounds Tideway Scullers and the University of London won easily from two Dutch crews. In the semifinal, Garda raced Tideway Scullers, who had dead heated with us at Nottingham. Both crews started at a rate of forty-one. With great determination Garda went into the lead by a canvas at the quarter mile mark and increased the lead to half a length at the Barrier (2.09). At Fawley, we lead by one and a half lengths (3.36) and went on to win by one and a quarter lengths (7.39). On the way to the start of the final, University of London were involved in a collision which resulted in the final being delayed for two hours. We were unperturbed by this and when the race eventually got underway, we started at forty against University of London’s thirty-eight. At the Barrier, we lead by one length (2.05) which increased to one and three quarter lengths at the beginning of the enclosures. London University then spurted to forty and reduced the lead. We held out to win by one length at the finish (3.34) (7.37). The Irish Independent (9/7/79) reported:
Willie Ryan got them away sharply rating forty through the first minute and by the quarter mile mark Garda had an advantage of three quarter of a length. While London mounted several attacks, Garda had the race in hand, after a mile they had a lead of one and a half lengths which they stretched as they reached the enclosure. London attacked across the last one hundred yards but all they could do was to nibble back the Irish crews winning thrust.
Winners on the Prince Philip Challenge Cup, 1979
Bow Ted Ryan (3) Pat Gannon
(2) Christy O’Brien Str. Willie Ryan
Cox Joe Homan
Coach Brendan Duane