The Josephian regatta series was incepted in 2003 for the Sculling discipline and St. Joseph’s College (SJC) rowing crew hosted this event annually till 2008.
Then this annual event had a break for the past eight years till it’s great come back this year. Joe’s rowing coach Bassim Hassan mentioned that “team had several ups and downs in the past, but now they have become more stabilised and this is the right time to relaunch the regatta series again”. This regatta specialises in the sculls for individuals, double sculls and quad sculls for both men and women under the age groups 14, 16, 18, 23 and open, there is no winners trophies based on age groups rather each winner of the races will receive medals respectively.
The final day of the sculls race started in the morning with women’s open scullers final, this was a one kilometer race between two air force (AF) and two army scullers, racing parallelly towards the finish line. R A H B Perera and R A M Dilhari from Air Force grabbed gold and silver respectively leaving Geethani Perera from the Army to reach the finish line with a short gap. The ladies under 23 and open categories were dominated by the scullers from the forces. This event was followed by semi-final races for the women’s double scull event, teams from Bishops college (BC), Ladies College (LC), Visaka Vidyalaya (VV), Museaus College (MC) entered the finals. In the women’s under 14 scullers A S Karunaratne from LC swept the gold medal though she was very closely tailed by H Hettigoda from CRC.
The winners streak was quite spread across Royal College (RC), S. Thomas College (STC), St. Joseph’s College (SJC) and Ananda College (AC). In the men’s under 23 quad scull finals RC and STC teams raced against each other and RC team finished the race with more than a few boat lengths. There weren’t many participants for this category as most teams lacked the resources for a quad scull. The men’s under 23 scull finals was an exciting race with the RC and STC scullers racing against two AF scullers. H M Hettigoda from RC reached for gold and Pushpa Kumara from AF grabbed the silver. Though S D V Serasinghe from STC rowed faster he had to settle for bronze.
In the evening session after lunch, G D Kuruppu from RC had the upper hand in the under 16 scull. But RC team did not have the same advantage in the double scull event in Under 16. SA Alexander and J R Welaratne from AC finished the race leaving the SJC team for more than a boat length to follow. In the ladies category LC and MC had the upper hand, in the under 18 double sculls, I A Abbey and N S Waravita from LC won the gold medal for the group.
The men’s under 18 quad scull event was an interesting race, four scullers from Ananda and Royal raced very very closed to each other till the finish line. The Ananda team grabbed the gold by a few seconds lead. The race was a clear win for the ladies team in the same category race. Muaesus team had two boat lengths lead than the Ladies – A team who were closely followed by their B team, collecting silver and bronze for the LC crew.
Cox for MC quad scull team shared her excitement, “It felt quite good to finish the race with such a lead. This was the team that rows the four on the sweepers race and we didn’t have much practice as we wanted, for the quad scull, yet our confidence in the waters won us the gold”.
The SJC vice-captain Angelo, one of the pillars behind organising this event also shared a few words with us, “ After the eight year break, we decided to host this event again as we have a strong team and support on our side. This is similar to a national regatta, where all the teams from the rowing community participate. It has been quite a turnover in-terms of participants making it a successful re-entry for Joes Sculls and this will keep this event continuing annually in the future”.