Rowers braved the harsh water conditions to take part in the first Kisubi Regatta on Lake Victoria (Credit: John Batanudde)

It was a battle for the fittest, the most courageous and passionate rower as the 2022 Kisubi regatta was concluded over Africa’s largest fresh water body, Lake Victoria, at Kisubi beach.

The water weed at one part of the beach aside, the waters were rough due to the heavy winds and strong waves that existed therein.

In fact, the earlier races that were executed had to be cancelled after many boats capsized, including that of Olympian Grace Kathleen Noble.

Ahan Iqbal supervises some rowers during the Kisubi Regatta (Credit: John Batanudde)

The swift and alert personnel on the rescue boats were quick to react.

As the waters failed to control, the race truck was designed from the planned 2KM to a shorter version of at least 250M to 300M as the rowers managed to do the single and double sculls events as well as the quad.

By close of business, Kampala Rowing Club emerged as champions to win the inaugural Kisubi regatta.

Kampala Rowing Club players celebrate with their trophy and certificates (Credit: John Batanudde)
Ahan Iqbal pulls a capsized boat in Lake Victoria at Kisubi beach (Credit: John Batanudde)
A rower fights to get back on the boat after it fell over (Credit: David Isabirye)

This regatta was part of the three day’s rowing clinic organized by Noble with the help of her US based coaches Ahan Iqbal and Linda Iqbal as well as Batenga Nakisozi (technical commission head, Uganda Rowing Federation).

Iqbal was impressed by the braveness of the rowers to row under such harsh water conditions.

He envisages a bright future for Uganda’s rowing.

Ahan Iqbal on the rescue boat (Credit: John Batanudde)

“First of all, I want to commend all the rowers who managed to brave such conditions. If it was in the US for such conditions, the race would have been cancelled. This shows the love and passion that the rowers have for the sport. There is a lot of room to keep improving and perform better and better” Iqbal remarked.

Kampala Rowing Club members on duty during the Kisubi Regatta held over Lake Victoria (Credit: John Batanudde)

Kampala rowing club collected 25 points, four better than the hosts (Kisubi Pirates).

Maroons Aqua rowing club was third with 12 points.

Captain Mugisha Kuringira, Derrick Muhindo, Innocent Wandera, Paul Kato, Elijah Namunyu, Robert Ssewankambo, Proscovia Hope and Margret Assimwe led the victorious Kampala rowing club to success.

“We had the teamwork element. Also, the training prior to this event paid off handsomely” Mugisha revealed.

Juliations after Kathleen Noble rowing clinic and regatta at Kisubi beach on Lake Victoria (Credit: John Batanudde)

Kampala Rowing Club was rewarded with a trophy and each of the participating rowers across all the clubs getting certificates.

Kisubi Pirates’ head coach Henry Cabayo Guweddeko led the hosts.

The team had Sula Ssegawa (captain), Ben Twijukye, Chris Tukesiga, Damascus Mugerwa, Osbert Ssebagala, Raymond Lutwama, Musa Mulindwa, Jumah Aly Kasirye, Rashid Najjuma, Gideon Mpalanyi and Allan Otuko.

Maroons Aqua team was composed of Sarah Enokokin, Noble, Darius Okello, Godfrey Chan, Mary Aketch, Brenda and Betty Nabifo.

The final tally of points also constituted of those fetched from the 2KM indoor ergometer competition held on Friday at the same venue.

Grace Kathleen Noble rows with Maroons teammate (Credit: John Batanudde)

Noble is humbled by the support from her coaches, friends and the great response from the participants.

“I want to extend my appreciation to all the rowers who showed courage and passion to compete. I thank my coaches Linda and Ahan Iqbal for the sacrifice to travel to Uganda and offer technical support to the rowers. I thank other people as Batenga Nakisozi. She has really been very helpful and the media at large. The management of Kisubi beach has also been very positive to host us” Noble revealed.

This was the second clinic that Noble organized this year following a successful one in January 2022.

Different rowers show off their certificates after the three day Kisubi clinic and regatta (Credit: John Batanudde)

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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