Upholding tradition

R. RAGU

The ARAE regatta conducted by the Madras Boat Club conformed to the protocol and tradition.

For the rowing community, the ARAE regatta symbolises a sense of history and identity. Christened as the Amateur Rowing Association of the East when the idea was conceived in 1933 at the Royal Connaught Club in Pune, the concept was to integrate different clubs from the east of Asia in order to promote rowing.

MUCH WATER HAS FLOWED down the Hooghly, Adyar and Mula-Mutha since. The spirit of competition is sustained annually. The 65th edition was hosted by the Madras Boat Club with eclat, conforming to the protocol and tradition.

There were factors to contend with, like the frequent change of tide and water in the Adyar river that was not conducive to rowing. Yet the competition coursed through culminating in a splendid sequence of races on the final day.

In keeping with the tradition of being one of the foremost institutions in competitive rowing, the Lake Club picked up the prestigious Willingdon Trophy. The crew consisted of Shakeel Ahmed, Arun T. Paul, Gurupreet Singh Dhillon, Shiva Shankar Singh and Biswajit Das. For the home club, the performances of two competitors, Swathy Sanjay and Rahul Baliga, were inspiring. While Swathy cut a swathe of golds through sculls, double sculls and fours, Rahul Baliga lowered the colours of the defending champion, Arun T. Paul in the Macklin sculls.

THE EFFORT OF the club to promote rowing received a boost when Sify Ltd. presented a competition boat valued at Rs. 1,25,000. Ajit Abraham, Head of HRD, Sify, handed over the boat.

S. Thyagarajan