Supporting Coleraine rowers: past, present and future

Charitable Impacts


Since being founded in 2000, COBRA has raised funds to help purchase equipment for the school rowing club. Whether fundraising on our own or in collaboration with other organisations. This page details some of the major purchases for the school rowing club that COBRA has been involved in over the last two decades.

2023 - Sidney Grey and Steen Anderson

The morning of December 9th 2023 saw COBRA present two new boats to the school. An eight, Sidney Grey and double, Steen Anderson. These represent a £37,000 investment in the School rowing club. The largest ever from COBRA, with over 70% of the funds being raised by COBRA members.

The two new boats were named in celebration of two past teachers who contributed much to the club throughout their decades at the school.
Sid and Steen both coached at CAI during the 80s and 90s as well as being full time teachers at the school. These men built a reputation of dedication, knowledge and brilliance all of which took CAIBC through one of its most successful periods in its history. Winning multiple VIII+ and IV+ Irish Championships, Homes Internationals, Henley Royal Regatta appearances and much more.

The boats being presented to the school

Sid and Steen alongside COBRA board members presenting the new boats to the school club captains, vice captains and the Headmaster.

Additional support for the purchase of the Sidney Grey and the Steen Anderson was provided by the Rowing Foundation and Halifax Foundation Northern Ireland. With The Rowing Foundation providing 25% of the funding of the Double and The Halifax Foundation providing 25% of the funding for the eight.

2016 - Bobbie Platt MBE (Coxless Four)

The Bobbie Platt MBE

Olympians Alan Campbell and Richard Archibald with Bobbie’s son and grandson.

When COBRA’s patron Bobbie Platt MBE passed away in 2015 we were in no doubt that we wanted to name the new boat in memory of him and the 40+ years he spent coaching at the club. Our Olympians both spoke emotionally about Bobbie and how he passed on his passion for this sport to them, crediting their time at the club for setting them on their Olympic Journeys.

The funds for the £14,000 boat came from a variety of sources – annual membership donations, larger donations specifically towards this purchase and also funds raised by COBRA members who took part in a grueling challenge last year when they cycled the length of Ireland, ‘Mizen to Malin’, in 3 days.

2012 - Richard Archibald (Eight)

With the construction of the new Boathouse COBRA held a major fundraising push to add a boat to the School’s aging fleet of Eights. We were please to be able to present a 2 year-old Stampfli Eight to the School which was getting little to no use at it’s previous home. Stampfli is the more elite sister to the Janousek line of boats which have served the club so well over the years. The weight and hull of this boat are ideally suited to the school after discussions it was decided that this boat presented an opportunity that was too good to miss out on.

The Richard Archibald

Olympians Richard Archibald and Alan Campbell with the new Stampfli 8+.

2010 - New Ergs

COBRA’s efforts at fundraising for the school have not been limited to purchasing on the water equipment. In 2010, CAIBC's stock of Rowing machines were beginning to show their age, with some of the younger boys being as old as the machines!

COBRA purchased 10 new rowing machines to help supplement the Club’s existing stock, much to the delight of the coaches and dismay of the rowers.

2008 - Sculling blades

In addition to the set of eight sweep blades purchased for the club a few years before, COBRA have purchased a set of 10 sculling blades to help replenish the aging stock within the club.

The new blades in action

The new blades in action with the Senior 4x.

2007 - Killlowen, Barmouth, Mountsandel and Somerset

The Four New Boats

The Four new boats being presented to the club.

The four boats, a Coxed Four/Quad, Double Scull and two single Sculls were partially funded by COBRA along with the Friends of Coleraine Inst. This large capital purchase represents a substantial investment in the future of the school club and shows COBRA's ability to punch well above its weight in our commitment to support rowing at the School.

2005 - Sweep Oars

Representing COBRA's first large purchase of equipment for the School club, this set of eight oars were much needed. However they were not within the School’s budget to purchase. So COBRA have stepped up and purchased the much needed equipment which will hopefully propel the boys to more victories in the years to come.

The New Oars Being Presented

Chairman, William Wright, and head of the fundraising committee, Iain Giffin, presenting CAI head coach, Bobby Platt, vice captain, Mark Reid and secretary, David Stafford with eight Concept 2 ‘Smoothie’ Oars.