("Limerick Leaders" account of the Marathon
MARATHON BOAT RACE
WAS A THRILLER
Hundreds of spectators gathered at the Thomond
Weir on Tuesday for the start of the Marathon Boat Race round the Parish. The event was organised by the Corbally Boating
Four boats lined up for the start and at the
word "go, from Mr. Matthew O'Brien of Athlunkard Boat Club the boats picked up great speed. There was a great
"set to" then as all were anxious to reach the Abbey River in the lead. Mick Hayes and crew set a rapid pace
and at Newfound, had four or five lengths to spare.
The spectators, most of them on bicycles, and the rest running,
gave vocal support along the Island Bank, excitement ran high nearing Athlunkard Boat Club as the other crews were challenging
and trying to make up the leeway. There was a traffic jam on O'Dwyer Bridge, the road being blocked by spectators.
Going down the Sandmall, the pacemakeers held on to their lead,
and, approaching the rough water and rapids, the contestants could be seen changing positions in preparation for the assault
on Curraghgower Falls. First crew to attempt to conquer the Falls was Hayes, Gallagher and Kiely
and they were soon joined by Sheehan, Kinsella and Lysaght and both crews took possession
of the narrow passage at Geary's side.
A stalemate developed here as neither crew would give way to the
other. In the meantime, the other crews were sizing up the situation and Duhig's crew elected to try the
centre of the Falls, an impossible task - they very soon swamped. It was very plain at this stage that all the competitors
were very tired after rowing 3 miles and many thought that the Falls would remain unconquered. By now the excitement on the
shore was terrific, each side egging on their respective crews.
The Corbally crew, Sheehan, Lysaght and Kinsella
cut across to the Strand side where they were soon joined by the other Corbally crew of Hogan, Shannessy
and Cowhey. A rare tussel developed here, boats swamping, men being thrown headlong into the water, poles
breaking. Again positions changed and, finally, after several unsuccessful attempts Nay Lysaght's crew got
over to the cheers of the crowd.
The winning crews were just crossing the line at Thomond Bridge
when the second Corbally crew succeeded in getting over the Falls.
Results: 1. B. Kinsella, D. Sheehan, W. Lysaght.; 2. M. Hogan, T. Shannessy, D. Cowhey.