Sunday July 16th 2018
The third and final day of the 2018 Irish Rowing Championships came to a close in spectacular fashion at the National Rowing Centre in Cork today, with spectators being treated to enthralling racing in the last finals of the event – including the highly anticipated battles of the senior eights.
In the women’s senior eights race, it was Skibbereen versus Dublin University Ladies and two NUIG crews, and it was Skibbereen who looked in control from the off. By the 500m mark the Cork women had created a lead of about two thirds of a length over NUIG A, holding on to it until well beyond the halfway, and despite the Galway rowers upping their stroke rate in the final sprint it appeared they had left it too late – Skibbereen had stretched the lead to several lengths. Following a dominant performance, it was Skibbereen first, NUIG A second and DULBC third.
The second to last race of the day, the enthralling men’s senior eights, left competitors, commentators and spectators alike gasping for breath after a dramatic clash between four Dublin crews, a University composite of NUI Galway and Queens University Belfast, and Cork Boat Club. Right from the outset, it was clear this was going to be a very tough race for all involved, with less than a second separating the top three crews – Commercial B, UCD, NUIG/Queens – after 1000m and the chasing pack remaining in touch. Coming into the closing stages, Commercial and NUIG/Queens pushed ahead of UCD by a couple of feet and at 1500m these two crews were dead level. Commercial then made their move, pushing ahead by a foot or two, then a canvas, and with spectators now getting very much behind their rowers it looked like Commercial were about to achieve the three-in-a-row. However, in a dramatic finish, UCD upped their stroke rate hugely and looked to be closing in on the leaders, pushing them all the way to the line and finishing too close for onlookers to call. The end result was eventually announced as Commercial first by just 0.57 seconds, followed by UCD, and the NUIG/Queens composite took third.
Commercial take the top prize in Irish men’s rowing once again for the third year in a row, having previously achieved the three-in-a-row in 2003-2005.
Saturday July 15th 2018
The 2018 Irish Rowing Championships continued in excellent conditions on day two of the three-day regatta at the National Rowing Centre in Farran Wood, Cork.
The championships, which have attracted 1,600 athletes from all over the country to the regatta on Inniscarra Lake, have enjoyed near perfect conditions with quality racing throughout the weekend so far.
Some close races were fought and new records set in championship finals from early morning today (Saturday) with Queen’s University Belfast Ladies Boat Club (QUBLBC) beating UCD to claim the first championships title in the Women’s Novice Eights.
However UCD Boat Club took the win in the Men’s Intermediate Eights in a tight race that saw Cork Boat Club place second and Dublin University Boat Club take third. UCD also won the Men’s Novice 8+ title.
Enniskillen Royal Boat Club (ERBC) had a strong win in the Men’s Junior coxed Fours, finishing ahead of Colaiste Iognaid from Galway who fought hard to push Castleconnell Boat Club into third. ERBC also retained their title as champions of the Women’s junior eights.
The Skibbereen duo of Lydia Heaphy and Marie Piggott won the Women’s Intermediate double sculls ahead of Kilorglin Rowing Club and Neptune RC respectively, while Mollie Curry of Coleraine Grammar School was named champion of the women’s junior single sculls.
Queen’s University Belfast Ladies Boat Club were also thrilled with their win in the Women’s Novice Eights.
Shandon Boat Club won the Men’s junior quadruple sculls, setting a new record in the championship race with Eoin Gaffney, Luke Hayes-Nally, Jack Dorney and Alex Byrne – who will all represent Ireland at the 2018 World Junior Championships – in the boat.
Skibbereen Rowing Club took the senior quads title with their crew of Fintan McCarthy, Aodhan Burns, Kealan Mannix and Jake McCarthy breaking that championship record by one second.
Ronan Byrne of UCC, who recently joined the U23 Irish rowing team and will compete at the U23 World Championships in Poznan, Poland, later this month, won the Men’s intermediate single sculls while former Irish international athlete, Lisa Dilleen of Cork Boat Club, took the title in the Women’s senior single sculls.
In the mid-afternoon, in an unusual and equally impressive feat, Rowing Ireland’s recently appointed CEO, Michelle Carpenter also took to the water, winning her race with Lady Elizabeth Boat Club in the Women’s Masters Eights.
Racing continues throughout the day tomorrow (Sunday) from 8am until 5:30pm with the highlights of the day expected to be the Women and Men’s Senior Eight Championship races.
Friday 13th July 2018
The biggest ever Irish Rowing Championships to take place on the island of Ireland got off to a fantastic start on day one of the three-day regatta at the National Rowing Centre in Farran Wood, Cork.
Athletes from more than 60 clubs from all four provinces raced down the championship course on Inniscarra Lake where the standard of competition was impressively high throughout the day across each category.
Outstanding performances among the men came from University College Cork who won the men’s coxed Club 8s in an incredible race, beating UCD into second place by less than one second, leaving Neptune A crew in third.
UCD also impressed, winning the men’s senior coxless four with three members of the Irish under 23 team – David O’Malley, Shane Mulvaney and Andrew Goff – in the boat. They beat Commercial A into second place and NUIG took third.
Skibbereen RC brothers Jake and Fintan McCarthy, who will also represent Ireland at the U23 World Championships at the end of this month, won the men’s senior doubles.
In the men’s single sculls, Fionn Crowley of Castleconnell Boat Club won well. He beat Kealan Mannix of Skibbereen RC by two seconds, leaving Aodhan Burns, also of Skibbereen in third.
At junior level, Shandon Boat Club rowed a phenomenal race winning the men’s junior 8 for the first time in the history of their club, beating Enniskillen Royal Boat Club, who have won the cup for the for the last two years, into second place.
Ryan Spelman of St. Michael’s RC won the men’s junior single sculls with Aaron Keogh of Three Castles in second and James Desmond of Castleconnell in third.
Among the women, Castleconnell Boat Club rowed a nail biting battle with Colaiste Iognaid, who led for the majority of the race in the women’s junior coxless fours, until Castleconnell pushed through to cross the finish line two seconds ahead.
NUIG gave a strong performance in the Women’s intermediate 8, winning ahead of Cork Boat Club who were almost 15 seconds ahead of the DULBC A crew.
Fermoy Rowing Club gave an impressive display in the women’s novice coxed quad, winning by more than 20 seconds ahead of QULBC who were 15 seconds ahead of Neptune.
In the women’s Junior Double, Ciara Moynihan and Cira Browne of Workmans took the win ahead of Kilorglin’s Anna Tyther and Rhiannon O’Donoughue who came in well ahead of the New Ross crew of Shona Tierney and Laura Brown.
Drawing the day to a close, Irish international rowers Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey of Skibbereen RC gave an outstanding performance winning the women’s senior double sculls ahead of Neptune, Skibbereen B and Bann RC respectively.
Race commentator, Gerry Murphy, said all crews deserved credit for their performances. “The standard of racing was very high across the grades and all the winning crews were deserving winners. They showed their class and are a credit to their clubs and coaches, showing that if you put in the work you will reap the rewards of success,” he said.