Galway Rowing Club having volunteered to actively support Rowing Ireland’s: Para Olympic rowing program for the upcoming Paris Olympics. We were delighted to have two club members take part in their first international para rowing regatta in Gavirate, Northern Italy last weekend.

Club members Steven McGowan and Katie O’Brien competed successfully in the PR2 (back and arms) category. Katie is already a World Championship medalist from 2019, in the single scull.  At Saturday’s regatta, the crew came 4th in the final: 1st Uzbekistan (Tokyo Olympians), 2ndBrazil, 3rd Italy, 4th Ireland, 5th Thailand and 6th Mexico.

The regatta and the training camp prior to the regatta were a huge learning curve for the rowers and coaches. The crew got great satisfaction from Sunday’s final where again they came fourth but closed the gap significantly against third placed Italy. They also improved their time by 10 seconds on Saturday’s race to post a personal best for the crew. The winners of Sunday’s race were a composite crew made up of two world champions one each from the Netherlands and Australia. The opportunity to go head against seasoned world champions, was a fantastic experience which will definitely stand to Katie and Steven as they now anticipate further international competition over the coming months.