Big Alan finally wins at Boxing Day event

Norman Hamill (the most successful Boxing Day Race winner having won it over 20 time) congratulating Alan on his first win along with crew members Johnny Gordon, Ben Kidd, Rebecca Menagh and cox Alex West.
Norman Hamill (the most successful Boxing Day Race winner having won it over 20 time) congratulating Alan on his first win along with crew members Johnny Gordon, Ben Kidd, Rebecca Menagh and cox Alex West.
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Alan Campbell has been trying to win the Boxing Day Scatch Races at Bann Rowing Club since 1997.

He has attempted this 14 times out of the last 19 years. Despite winning World and Olympic medals, the Boxing Day races have always eluded him. That was until this year when Alan’s boat came in first.

He gives great credit to his crew which included two of the reigning champions from last year’s race.

Speaking afterwards Alan said: “Having won the Boxing Day Races an Olympic Gold shouldn’t be too far out of reach!”

Alan has always said that the process of drawing crews was rigged in all the years he lost, something Club Captain, Keith Leighton, has always denied! Fortunately, this year Joel Cassells - reigning world champion in the Lightweight Men’s Pair - was on hand to oversee and umpire the races.

Bann Rowing Club have the potential for four of its members competing at the Rio Games - Joel Cassells going for his first Olympic, Peter Chambers, his second, Richard Chambers, his third and Alan Campbell, his fourth having first competed in Athens in 2004.

Joel Cassells and Alan Campbell pictured at Bann Rowing Club on Boxing Day.

Joel Cassells and Alan Campbell pictured at Bann Rowing Club on Boxing Day.

This would make Alan the first Northern Ireland athlete in any sport to compete at four Olympic Games.