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Battling PLA rowing team land two trophies at Irish event

The PLA mens rowing team at the finish line of their 28km race

Glorious sunshine and some seriously good rowing made sure our mens team’s journey to Cork Harbour Festival was one to remember.

The Port of London Authority’s (PLA) six-man crew fought a breathless battle with London team Trinity Tide in the 28km Ocean to City race – which finished with the PLA being named First International Team as well as winners of The Perpetual Mermaid Cup.

Rower Lee Walker said: “It was a fantastic occasion with beautiful weather in a beautiful harbour. We couldn’t have been made more welcome by the organisers and it was definitely an event not to be missed.

“Our mens and ladies teams headed there with our traditional Thames cutters in tow, Penelope and Centurion, and it was a big logistics challenge to say the least, especially as two other English teams travelled with us. But to come back with two trophies means it was more than worth it.”

Thousands of spectators turned out for the 12th annual Ocean to City race and other events which formed part of Cork Harbour Festival. Ocean to City saw hundreds of teams from around the world take part in more than 30 different kinds of craft in paddle boats, traditional watermen cutters, kayaks and more.

Four of our team with their trophies, L-R John Dillon-Leetch, Lee Walker, Dave Bird and Steve Strickland

Cork County Cllr. Marcia Dalton presented winning crews with their prizes. Classes ranged from youth crews from across Cork City to veteran rowers, paddlers and kayakers from all over Ireland, England, Wales, Netherlands, Portugal and the US.

Festival Director, Donagh MacArtain said: “We had a great day’s racing with very close competition, particularly in the kayak and currach-racing classes. The atmosphere and buzz throughout the harbour was superb, right through to the finish line.”