Days ahead of the Royal-Thomian Regatta, both Royal College and S. Thomas’ College have been pacing themselves into the traditional 1000 yard course, after the recently concluded 31st National Rowing Championship.
The Mount Lavinia camp will be heading into this year’s regatta after the major blow they faced in 2015; losing the regatta 48-04. The Thomians maintained a three year winning streak from 2012 to 2014, but suffered a bitter loss in 2015. 38-14 in 2012, 40-12 in 2013 and 28-24 in 2014 but were unable to break the ‘4th-year’ hoodoo in 2015. The only set of silverware the Thomians managed to gain was the ‘B Pair’ trophy, with Senal Senevirathne and Suramba Serasinghe saving S. Thomas’ from a whitewash.
This year’s Thomian outfit will be led by Kemil Peter, the fourth year coloursman. Peter has been playing in the Beira waters since 2009 and coxed his first boat race (most prestigious race) in 2011. He has coxed the winning boat race crews from 2012 to 2014 and has been rowing in the B fours event since 2014. Top-dog Peter has tasted both victory and defeat and will most definitely be aiming to end his rowing carrier on a high.
Second in command will be Saliya Gunasekara, the second year coloursman and the most experienced sculler for the Thomians. Gunasekara rowed the B sculls race and emerged victorious, saving the regatta for the Thomians from a shared trophy, in 2014. The secretary of the crew will be Wishmitha Peiris, the first year coloursman. Peiris is the most senior and experienced cox after the captain Peter.
The most experienced rowers for S. Thomas’ will be Senal Senevirathne, Suramba Serasinghe, Deshitha Hennayake, Arjun Wikramanayake and Dharaka Peiris. However, the first year coloursman Senal Senevirathne has been ruled out of this year’s regatta due to an injury. Oarsmen in black to look out for will be Shailindra Jayasekara, Lakshan Sri Pragash, Meshach Peiris, Uvindu Premaratne and Kemith Nanayakkara.
Mr. Mark Maurice will be running his second year as the Head Coach. Coach Maurice has rowed for S. Thomas’ in the late 90’s and has a sound understanding of the crew.
Speaking to ThePapare.com, Captain Kemil Peter said “we have a comparatively fresh team but the youngsters have shown great promise and have driven the senior’s to come up”. He also mentioned, “the coaching staff have worked tirelessly and we are ready to face Royal on the 22nd”
All-in-all, the Thomians will be looking to bring back all the lost trophies and the overall T. Noel Fernando Trophy.