New Ross Boat Club held its annual Great Barrow Challenge on the 13th September. This year’s rowing event from St. Mullins to New Ross attracted an even bigger entry than other years with 72 crews attempting to post the fastest time over the 18km river course. This was done by the eight from Commercial / Old Collegians Boat Club from Dublin in a time of 58 minutes and 39 seconds while the Neptune four, also from the Liffey, finishing second overall. The organising and home club, New Ross Boat Club, had its biggest entry with five fours completing the course and the New Ross men’s club 4X+ finished in the top 10 fastest times with a time of 71 minutes and 36 seconds. Close neighbours Graiguenamanagh had three crews rowing, their men’s J18 2X putting in an impressive time of 68 minutes and 28 seconds.
This year saw the reappearance of the international entries with Exeter, Dart Totne’s from England competing against crews from Derry, Belfast and clubs from all over Ireland. The last time the Barrow saw so many visiting clubs was in the 80’s when the race was held in February as the Head of River Race.
The most competitive grouping was from the ever increasing coastal rowing clubs with Vartry men’s universal crew finishing at 79 minutes and 9 seconds. There was little or nothing between competing Wexford cots crews from St. Kearns, Edermine and Killurin.
As with any event, but especially water based events, safety is paramount, and 28 safety boats lined the 18km course made up of Wexford and Kilkenny Civil Defence, Kilkenny and Hook Sub Aqua Clubs and motor boats and cruisers all manned voluntarily on the day. First aid and ambulance cover was provided by Wexford Civil Defence.
Club Captain, John Dimond, said that “it’s great that our weeks of planning and a long days hard work on Saturday – with the cooperation of everyone: visiting clubs, safety boats, and club members, up to 500 people in all working and pulling together – has resulted in a most enjoyable event.”
Look at New Ross Boat Club on Facebook for lots of more pictures from the event!