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t-sips to saddle 37th Royalist-Thomian Regatta

When the 37th Annual Royal versus S. Thomas’ Regatta and 41st Boat Race hits the waters of the Beira Lake on Saturday, 23, the Blue and Black crew will be leaving no stone unturned to make it a hat trick, while the Blue and Gold boys will be pulling with all the strength to see that their opponents do not repeat their performances of the last two years.


T-sips will be sponsoring the event for the second successive year. Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Hanif Yusoof, speaking to the media at the press conference held on Friday, 15 at the Colombo Rowing Club said that Expo Lanka Teas, who are one of the pioneers in the tea industry with over 20 years of experience are not only looking forward to sponsoring this event for many more years to come, but are also eager to promote the sport in other parts of the country as well.


The Sub warden of S. Thomas’, Dr. Harsha Perera stressed the need for old boys of both schools to take the initiative of taking the sport to the rural areas as   there are many waterways in the country that can be utilized  for rowing.


Prasad Vithanage of the Organizing Committee stressed that unlike in previous years, this year all events will be worked out with clock-work precision. The opening event will commence at 12.00 p.m. and the final, the Boat Race, at 5.00 p.m.


The event which is the most sought after in the rowing calender of the country is Regatta and the Thomians who are the Sri Lanka National Champions will be led by third year coloursman Sajeev De Silva who is also a Sri Lanka Asian Games poolist. Even though they have only two coloursmen doing duty for them this year, the Thomians have done well to become National Champions by winning the Open Category at the Sri Lanka Rowing Nationals. The team is coached by former captain Chevantha Sirimanne.


Leading the Royal team will be Radhika Weerasekera a fourth year coloursman. They also have ten other coloursmen to do duty for them with five of them sporting club colours. The Royalists too have done well this year having won the under 16 and 19 categories at the Rowing Nationals. The team is being coached by former skipper Asiri Abhayaratne.


Last year the Thomians under Dhanushka Jayanetti rowed out winners by 40 points to 12. This year the Regatta will have 11 events with the inclusion of the under 16 coxed fours being introduced for the first time.


Furthermore, this year a boat carrying a camera crew will be accompanying all the races and a giant screen will be installed at the club for the benefit of the spectators.


By Bruce Maurice

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