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Government Gazette

Blues Battle for Rowing Supremacy

The oarsmen of Royal College and S. Thomas’s have through the years done well to ensure that their annual contest on Beira waters, be it the boat race or regatta be as competitive as possible to hold the interest of many.

And so they will as in the past, converge on October 27 on the banks of the Beira Lake alongside the Colombo Rowing Club, to witness this yearly duel between these two leading schools. As in the past years the regatta is being sponsored by Dialog.

Be that as it may, sad though it be, yet it’s true that for reasons best known to the two schools, last year’s (2006) regatta was not held - at the most, if needs be it could have been postponed. It did come as a bitter disappointment to many, who with much expectancy look forward to this annual encounter on water.

This well meaning healthy, traditional exercise between Royal and S. Thomas came into being with good intentions and, it must therefore be the responsibility of these well established longstanding institutions to sustain and maintain it in sequence, without dropping a regatta. For to do otherwise will surely undermine to weaken the standard and stature of the ‘Blues’ Regatta.

The boat race which had its origin in 1962, preceded the regatta which commenced in 1966, wherein was also included the boat race. The regatta was not held for 7 years from 1973 to 1979, and last year 2006, which meant that there wasn’t the boat race either during these corresponding years.

The last regatta was held in the year 2005, and in the recent years prior to this the Thomian’s have been the dominant force in that they enjoy an overall tally lead of 3 in the Boat race and, are ahead in the regatta as well by 4. Of the 37 boat races held thus far, S. Thomas’ have won 20 to Royals’ 17 and, out of the 33, regattas, S. Thomas’ lead with 17 to Royals’ 13, with 3 regattas being tied in the years 1993, 2003 and 2005. If the competition in the series is to be kept on a tight even keel, then the oarsmen of Royal should strive to reduce this Thomain lead, when they meet them next Saturday.

The 2005 regatta saw the oarsmen of Royal holding the whiphand having won 3 events to S. Thomas’ 2. Out of a possible determinant of 40 points Royal were well placed with 20 points to S. Thomas’ 8 Pts: Everything therefore hung on the decisive sixth and final event, the prestigious boat race, also referred to as the “Fours”, that carries 12 pts: for the winner. And so an exciting tense battle between the ‘Fours’ of either side ensued, they matched each other length for length, stroke for stroke and headed for the finish almost together - but the Thomains just put in a little more extra thrust, to win by a whisker to gain 12 pts and aggregate 20 Pts, to be on par with Royal and to so draw the 2005 regatta.

As in the past the events for the 2007 regatta will be identical, in that there will be six races, which are the senior ‘A’ Fours for the Boat Race Trophy 12 Pts: Senior ‘B’ Fours for the Eraj Wijesinge Trophy 8 Pts: Senior ‘A’ Pairs for the Freddie Raux Trophy 8 Pts Senior ‘A’ Sculls for the Senior Sculls Trophy 6 pts: Senior ‘B’ Pairs for the Chula Samarasinghe Trophy 4 Pts: Senior ‘B’ Sculls for the Ajith Goonewardene Trophy 2 Pts. This makes an available aggregate of 40 Pts. There will in addition be a junior Fours race for the Percy Fernando Trophy and, an Old Boys race, both of which do not come into the reckoning for the Regatta Championship. The overall winners will be awarded, the T.N. Fernando Trophy.

Royal will be led by third year coloursman, Maalik Aziz, his deputy is third year coloursman Dinouk Perera, the other coloursmen are Lishan Wickremanayaka and Mahima Weerasinghe. The rest of the squad comprises Lakitha Liyanage, Chirath Karunanayake, Radhika Weerasekara, Miyuru Jayawardene, Dhanushka Perera and Mevan Jayatilleke. The team is coached by Hiran Dorenegama with assistance from Asiri Abheyatne and the Master-in-Charge being R. Rajasooriyar. The Thomians are skippered by fifth year coloursman, Dathika Wickremanayake, with second year coloursman Manil Salgado as vice captain, the other two coloursmen are Devon Hallock and Rajitha Wickremasekera, the others making up the pool are Saliya Kalupathirana, Dhanukha Jayanetti, Kusum Manawadu, Arjun Manohara, Eshan Goonewardene, Jayan Peiris, Uween Jayasinghe, Yanik Salgado, Adnaan Issadeen and Amrik Wariya. The team is coached by Ajith Goonewardene, assisted by Lasantha Welikala and the teacher-in-charge being Tanya Bartlett.

As both Schools were deprived of a contest last year, since the regatta was not held, the two teams are reviving it up to row away with Royal having the edge over S. Thomas, Royal College are acting as hosts this year, with the 1983 captain of Royal, Asela Gunawardena as the chief guest.

Winners of the boat race since its inception in 1962

Year	College		Captain
1962	Royal		L.A.W. Sirisena	
1963	Royal		M.E. Wijesinghe	
1964	S.Thomas’	C.N. Sirimanne	
1965	S.Thomas’	E.C. Anthoniz	
1966	S.Thomas’	E.C. Anthoniz	
1967	S.Thomas’	L.Sirimanne	
1968	Royal		A.Kumarasinghe	
1969	Royal		A. Wijetunge	
1970	Royal		E.R. Perera	
1971	S.Thomas’	N.R. Seevaratnam	
1972	Royal		P. Fernando	
1980	S.Thomas’	F. Moheed	
1981	Royal		K. Ratnayake	
1982	Royal		S. de Silva	
1983	S.Thomas’	S. Senarath	
1984	S.Thomas’	M.L. De. Silva	
1985	Royal		C.Corea	
1986	S.Thomas’	K.R. Soysa	
1987	Royal		N. Samarawickrema	
1988	Royal		V. Gunawardene
1989	S.Thomas’	P. Vithanage
1990	Royal		C. Abhayarante
1991	S.Thomas’	S. Mendis
1992	Royal		C. Gunawardena
1993	Royal		D. Gunawardena
1994	S.Thomas’	R. Seneviratne
1995	S.Thomas’	D. Aluvihare
1996	S.Thomas’	R.S. Wanigatunge
1997	S.Thomas’	S.De. Silva
1998	Royal		S.Tennekoon	
1999	S.Thomas’	H. Henry
2000	Royal		C. Seneviratne
2001	Royal		Tala Shums
2002	S.Thomas’	Preshith Ganegoda
2003	S.Thomas’	Isuru Perera
2004	S.Thomas’	Dejan de Zoysa
2005	S.Thomas’	Dinushka Aluwihare

The Boat Race was not held for 7 years (1973 to 1979) it wasn’t held 
last year 2006 as well, as the regatta did not take place of the 37 
boat races held thus far S. Thomas have won 20 to Royal’s 17.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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