Rowing has been a sporting option at Inst since the 1950’s and Inst remains one of only 4 schools in Northern Ireland to offer the facilities which allow boys to participate in such an activity. Training takes place at the purpose-built Boat House in Stranmillis, South Belfast. The Inst Rowing Club offers a great opportunity to participate in this fun, energetic, outdoor team sport. The Club competes at events all over Ireland and the UK, including attending the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta.

Rowing Results - Portadown Regatta 2017

Saturday 29th April saw the first regatta of the summer where the RBAI J16 and Club rowers had the opportunity to display their capabilities, with an unprecedented number of crews entered in this annual event. This regatta is also an excellent opportunity for the beginners to experience side-by-side racing, proving even more testing in the windy conditions which faced all of us on Saturday.

Notable performances included the J16 8+ of Callum Harley (cox), Ben Hoy, Justin Pornasdoro, William Skelton, Ben Hammersley, Zac Lloyd-Humphreys, William McMullan, Freddie Johnston and Mark Austin, who won their final against Coleraine Grammar School. In addition, Angus Harley won his first heat in the Club 1X categoty, with Portadown’s bendy course putting steering to the test for both rower and coxswain. The Club quad of Callum Harley, PJ Bowman, Alexis Gowdy, Angus Harley and Morgan Lavery won their first heat and managed a respectable 2nd place out of 4 crews.

Overall it was a long day’s racing with some enduring several races, and a great effort was put in from everyone throughout the day, positively representing our club.

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Thank you to Mr Archibald, Mr Warnock and Mr J Hoy for their continued support, as well as Mr Ricky Caruth for assisting with transporting our trailer, without whom away events would prove very difficult.

Outlined below are the full results from the regatta:

Crew/Event Opponent Result
J16 8+ CGS Won final
Club 1X,   Harley UCD Won heat
Club 4X+ Newry Won heat
Club 8+ Portadown Lost final
Club 2X Portadown Lost heat
Novice 1X,   Gowdy City of Derry Lost final
Novice 4X+ Newry Lost final
J16 4X+ ‘A’ Portadown Lost heat
J16 4X+ ‘B’ Bann Lost heat

Peter Bowman, RBAI Rowing Club Secretary

Lough Rynn Regatta

Following on from the Junior 16 and Club squads competing at Portadown it was then the opportunity for the Junior 18 squad to showcase their abilities at the Lough Rynn Regatta, near Carrick-on-Shannon. This is a very new 2,000metre 8-lane course in the middle of the Leitrim hills, which provided stunning views for the crews as they raced.

After some last minute crew changes were needed the boys took to the water against the best School, University and Open Clubs in Ireland to test themselves. Tim Lyons competed in the Junior 18 1x and put in a strong display in his heat, but with only 2 boats to qualify from 7 starters he didn’t make it through, giving way to the eventual winner and runner-up in the toughest draw.

The Junior 18 2x of Harry Hetherington and James Emery were the next boat up. In a heat of 5, with 2 to qualify for the final they needed to be on the pace from the gun. In increasingly testing conditions the boys were not only on the pace, but setting the pace. They stormed down the course finishing comfortably ahead of all other crews. In fact they finished so far ahead of their opposition that they finish judge missed them and did not classify them. This was rectified for the final, but the administrative error meant the boys had to race from a less favoured outside lane. They performed well to finish 6th but were disappointed after such a strong showing in their heat.

The last event for the squad was the Junior 18 4x-. This is a massively competitive event and featured 2 heats with the top 4 qualifying from each heat for the final. With Harry Hetherington and James Emery having to jump straight out of their boat after the 2x final and get into the 4x, with Daniel Lowry and Tim, made for less than ideal preparation, but the boys did what they needed to do and no more to finish 4th and conserve energy for the final. With the crew having to turn around and paddle straight back up to the start for the final, due to the timetable slipping over the day, they put in a strong performance but were just outpaced by their rival clubs from Dublin and Cork.

Well done to the boys for their efforts over a long day. And a big thank you to Mr Warnock and Miss R Davison for their help during the day and to Mr John Armstrong for towing the boats down.

The next event for the whole Club will be this Saturday 27th May at Belfast Sprints Regatta, on the Boat House straight, Stranmillis. The racing will commence at 9-30am and go on until approximately 6pm. If you are in the area feel free to pop down and cheer on the Inst boys during this side-by-side sprint event, over a 500metre course. It promises to be a lively day, with lots of racing.


For more details, or a specific race schedule please visit:

Steven Archibald, Master-in-Charge, RBAI Rowing Club

Rowing - Festive Head of the River

On Saturday 17th December, RBAI BC took to the water to compete in The Festive Head, the first competitive Head of the River event of the year, with clubs from across Ulster descending to the Lagan to enjoy a more light-hearted and fun atmosphere with crews dressing up in festive attire.

With around 80 crews entered in total, RBAI performed very well, enjoying a number of strong performances across the sculls, pair doubles, quads and an eight.

Notable results included the RBAI/CGS composite J18 2x of Tim Lyons and Hugh Moore, J18 2x of James Emery and Morgan Lavery, alongside Daniel Lowry as the club’s fastest J18 sculler (1x).

It was also great to see some familiar faces at the boathouse with a number of old boys returning to the club to compete - the Men’s Senior 8+ finished in an impressive position.

Very well done to all of the crews who were entered and competed in this first event of the season.

A big thank you must go to Mr Archibald, Mr Warnock and all of the coaches for their continued support, as well as the ‘STERN’ parents who kindly provided much needed festive refreshments after the racing.

P J Bowman

RBAI Rowing Club Secretary






Rowing Ireland Trials – Results

Well done to Tim Lyons and Harry Hetherington for their participation in the Rowing Ireland Trials at Inniscarra, Cork over the weekend.  They were the only Junior male athletes from Ulster in attendance and showed themselves well in often difficult water.

Well done also to Rebecca Davison (RBAI classroom assistant) who performed well in her pair and four combinations and Instonian Chris Beck, who made the A final of the men’s single.

We look forward to seeing if any of our athletes receive an invitation to the next stage of the process.

Inst Rowers head to Cork for Rowing Ireland Trials

Harry Hetherington (yr 14) and Tim Lyons (yr 13) set off this morning for Inniscarra, Cork, to attend the 1st in this year’s Rowing Ireland series of trials.  This is the first time in 3 seasons that any Inst boys have reached this level and to have 2 going together is an indication of the hard work the boys and their coaches have been putting in over the past few years.

The competition will involve a series of races in singles and a double.  The boys have taken full advantage of one of the recent pair/double purchases by the School to test the “Vidar” against the best in Ireland and we look forward to seeing how they get on.

Updates and results should be available throughout the weekend on

A mention must also go to recently appointed rowing coach Rebecca Davison who is also attending the trials, representing Belfast Boat Club.

The RBAI Rowing Club wishes all three luck for the weekend.

Olympic Rowing Silver Medallist Q&A Session

Olympic Rowing Silver Medallist Richard Chambers is holding an evening in conjunction with the RBAI Rowing Club’s Stern Parents, on Wednesday 5th October from 7 to 9pm.  It will give those attending the opportunity to hear Richard’s story of how he, along with his brother Peter, became the first Rowing Olympic medallists from Northern Ireland and offer the chance to ask him a few questions at the open Q&A session.

Like the current rowers from RBAI, Richard started his rowing career as a schoolboy in Northern Ireland and since then has risen through the ranks of World Rowing to become a two-time World Champion, three-time Olympian and multiple World medallist.  During this talk he will offer an insight into what it really takes to go from training in Northern Ireland to beating the rest of the world and give a number of lessons which are applicable to any sport and many aspects of life.

The event is being held in Belfast Boat Club and will be followed, from 9pm to 11pm, by an informal opportunity for those attending to have some refreshments and enjoy a finger buffet.

The talk itself is priced at £5 for adults and free for under 18’s.  And if you would like to stay around for food afterwards that will be an additional £10.

If you would like more information or to book a place at either event please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.