Bish oarsmen head to Australia

'The Bish' eights crew has been offered the trip of a lifetime after their success on the water has resulted them being invited to travel to the other side of the world to participate in a prestigious international rowing regatta.

St Joseph’s College eights crew will travel to Australia next month after the Irish champions were invited to participate in the Sydney International Rowing Regatta. The race will take place on the course used for the 2000 Olympic Games.

The regatta will feature crews from all over the world and ‘The Bish’, the current Irish schoolboys and junior champions, will contest the Australian national eights title as part of the Australian Open Schools Rowing Championships.

Their event will take place shortly before the highlight of the finals of the Samsung World Rowing Cup, which is coming to Australia for the first time ever, and will feature most of the medal winners from the London 2012 Olympics.

St Joseph’s College principal, Mr Ciaran Doyle, said it was a huge honour for the school to be invited to participate in such a prestigious international event and he paid tribute to the oarsmen and their coaches for their dedication and hard work.

“The school recently celebrated its 150th anniversary and this is a great honour for ‘The Bish’ to compete internationally in a sport which has a proud tradition in the school for many years,” said Mr Doyle.

‘The Bish; is Ireland’s most successful rowing school. Last year they won won the Irish junior the Irish schoolboy championships which saw them win their 15th national Junior 8+ pot, their 27th championship crown overall in all boat classes.

This followed on from the same double in the 2011 season which also saw them win the British schools eights championships held in Nottingham.

Mr Chris Noel, Schools Liaison for the Sydney International Rowing Regatta, said the organisers were thrilled that an Irish crew was participating for the first time.

“We are delighted to have St. Josephs College come Down Under and race at our inaugural Sydney International Rowing Regatta. They had an impressive 2012 season and it will be great to have such a successful overseas crew race against our country’s best.

“I’m sure we will see some tight racing with the level of school rowing we have in Australia and with additional overseas crews. The clash between ‘The Bish’, other overseas schools and our best Australian school eights will be a high point of these major championships,” he said, ahead of what will be the biggest rowing event in Australia since the Sydney Olympics.

There will be 30 crews from all over the world in the same category as the ‘The Bish’, with crews from Australia, South Africa, USA, Italy and many other countries confirmed for what will be the trip of a lifetime for the ‘The Bish’ oarsmen.

‘The Bish’ oarsmen and their coaches hope to meet up with fellow Patrician Schools in Sydney, of which there are four, two of whom are celebrating 40 years and 140 years respective jubilees this year.

‘The Bish’ will be hosted by St Ignatius College, Riverview and their rowing parents. The team will arrive in Australia on the 18th March 2013 and will compete from 21st March at Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith.

They will depart for Australia after competing in the Galway Head of the River on St Patrick’s Day.

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