Armagh rower is boat race captain (Ulster Gazette)

Armagh rower is boat race captain
(Ulster Gazette)
28 May 2009

Armagh rower Nathan Oliver is this year's captain of the Queen's University Senior Eight crew.

The 23-year-old -- a former pupil of St Patrick's Grammar School -- is studying medicine at the Belfast complex.

Along with his well drilled crew, Nathan will go head-to-head against Trinity College, Dublin, in the sixth year of the University Boat Race.

This will take place on the River Lagan, Belfast, on Saturday, June 13.

Nathan was in the Fresher boat in 2006 when Queen's beat Trinity by one and three-quarter lenghts.

Although the senior boat has not fared well in recent years, the Queen's men's Fresher crew also beat Trinity last year and, with many of them stepping over into the senior boat this year, all bodes well for a Queen's University success.

This year Nathan also has the added benefit of Queen's University having employed a dedicated full-time coach.

Mark Fangen-Hall has a pedigree of rowing in his blood and this season Queen's are already stepping up to success.

Mark coached Cambridge University towards victory in 2001 and 2005.

He commented, "While we enjoyed some early success against Trinity, they have made significant improvements, so we are very aware of the threat they offer.

"The history of the event favours Trinity so, for that fact alone, we are the underdogs.

"What I do know though is that each race will be rowed to the limit and four great races are on the cards.

"This season Queen's University have won Lagan Head, Erne Head, Neptune Regatta, and Novice Men, Women's Eights and Men's Intermediate Eights at the recent University Championships, which gave us the Wylie Cup for the first time in thirteen years," stated Mark proudly.

This year's event is being supported by the Department of Social Development.