All roads led to Cork for the Coastal Rowers of Ireland this past weekend as the 2023 Irish Coastal Rowing Championships were held at the National Rowing Centre on the outskirts of Cork City.  The event was hosted by Rosscarbery Rowing Club in West Cork.

The event run under the auspices of Rowing Ireland is the pinnace of the coastal rowing season and over 300 crews from throughout Ireland travelled to take part in 46 races across 40 race categories.  The championships are run over two days .

Racing commenced at 9 am on Saturday and it was a great start for the host club who took the gold in the senior mixed race.  Next up was the veteran mixed and it was the crew from Passage West who stormed home to take first place here.  The masters mixed was the next final and Rushbrooke took the gold here with the East Coast crew from Wicklow then taking the gold in the pre veteran men race.  Kilmacsimon took gold in the pre veteran women and U18 and it was their West Cork colleagues in Courtmacsherry who took the next race with a first place in the U12 women.  Next up it was the U16 women which was won by Kilmacsimon and for the U14’s it was the crew from Galley Flash who took gold.    

In the U21 women’s race Whitegate from East Cork took gold and next up it was the open classic men and women won by Rushbrooke and Castletownbere respectively.  Rosscarbery took gold in the timber yawl men and it was Castletownbere from West Cork who stormed home first in the open sprint women’s race with Galley Flash taking gold in the timber yawl women.  East Corks Rushbrooke are the open sprint men’s champions and Callinafercy from Kerry took the honours in the U14 Traditional women’s race with Edermine Ferry Wexford taking gold in the U18 Women’s traditional. 

Our next race was traditional junior women won by Edermine Ferry and the Junior men’s was won by Wicklow a result that was replicated in the Traditional Senior men’s and Traditional Senior Ladies with Edermine Ferry taking the women’s race and Wicklow taking home gold in the men’s.

The final race on Saturday was the Intervarsities race an all colleges race which was being run for the first time at this years championships.  It was the University of Limerick crew who took home the gold here in what was a thrilling finale to an action packed days rowing at the National Rowing Centre.

As the sun rose over the rowing course on Sunday morning the omens looked good that a fantastic days racing was ahead.  The first race off was the veteran men which was won by Passage West and Whitegate took home the gold in the veteran women.  The winners of the pre veteran mixed was Whitegate and Callinafercy from the kingdom of Kerry took Gold in the Traditional U18.  It was Edermine Ferry from the sunny south east that took first in the U16 women’s traditional race and it was Kerry again for gold in the traditional U14 with the Callinafercy crew storming home to first place. 

In the U18 women Whitegate took gold and it was the Galley Flash rowers who won the U12 and Whitegate won the U16.  In the U14 ladies its Kilmacsimon who are champions for 2023 and in the Masters ladies it was the Rushbrooke / Passage West  / Whitegate composite crew who took the title home.  In the masters men it was a win for Whitegate and Kilmacsimon took gold in the Junior men’s race.

Next up was the turn of the junior ladies and it was another win for Kilmacsimon.  In the intermediate men’s and Ladies the host club took gold in both and then it was the turn of the senior races.  In the men’s following a titanic battle throughout the race it was Courtmacsherry who secured first and in the ladies it Was Whitegate who came home to take the title of champions for 2023.

The final presentation of the day was the coveted Club of the Championships award and it was Whitegate Rowing Club from Cork who were confirmed as the winner with eight overall wins at the event.  

Commenting from the event Gavin Fox, Chairperson of Rosscarbery Rowing Club thanked everyone who made the event possible.  He thanked his own club and all the members who had put in trojan work in the lead up and over the course of the championships.    

Rowing Ireland Coastal Chairperson Ted Mc Sweeney thanked the host club and all of the championships committee for delivering what he described as a ‘first class event’.  

Rowing Ireland Coastal Regatta Director Shane Russell expressed his delight at how well the event ran off, despite some challenging conditions on Saturday the rowing was top class and there were some impressive performances in the underage racing especially.  It was great to see such a large crowd in attendance over the weekend and it certainly was one of the largest crowds I have seen attend the event in recent years’.  He thanked all of the volunteers and regatta team for their immense work in the lead up to and during the weekend.