Irish Master’s men and women travelled in large numbers from all four provinces to World Master’s Regatta on Lake Velence, south of Budapest Hungary from 11th – 15th September.
The weather was scorching, and the wind behaved. The course had eight lanes with a path to follow the whole way. Facilities were fantastic with plenty of space.
Irish crews had 16 wins in total which is a record, beating the fourteen we had in Bled in 2017. Composite Irish crews were formed for the 4’s and 8’s to ensure that we could compete on an even setting with the other country’s composite crews. These crews represented numerous Irish clubs from all over the country and ensured that we won the 8+ grade at men’s C, D and E grades. These eights events have been such difficult events to win against the traditionally strong countries such as Russia, Germany and GB. It’s a measure of the strength that has been building over the last number of years that all other countries take cautious note of any of the competing Irish crews. The backbone of this admiration has come from the Irish winning E8 over the last five years without tasting defeat. It is also backed up by the D8 which won here and also pulled off winning London HOR earlier this March.
Other notable wins included Denis Crowley in the single scull pulling off C, D, and E grades along with his victories in coxless fours and eights. He was Irelands most successful rower at this event winning eight medals – a record for Irish wins and most individual wins by anyone at this event. Tony Corcoran finally got himself on to the winning stage at 73 years young winning G single sculls. He will be defending this great win next year — an inspiration for everyone else in rowing or any other sport.
As a group, we won the core events in C, D and E age categories in the 8+ 4- and 1x which naturally was the hub of winning combinations. There were also some very close second places which another day would have added to the tally. Additionally, Brendan Smyth and Pat Fowler had a very impressive regatta in winning the A pair and C double.
Our Master’s women competed bravely, and clubs from Tribes, Belfast BC, Belfast RC, Anna Liffey, all rowed as both club and composite crews. They are moving up towards the winning stage, and I expect them to take medals next year. We also had a mixed E eight that came home in a very credible second.
The Irish mixed eight crew finished second behind the German crew. The mixed eight class is fast becoming a big event on the continent and GB.
Co-operation was necessary for the usage of boats and a big thanks to Galway, Commercial, and Neptune allowing sharing of their boats for the event. A special thanks to our trailer drivers Mike Goonan who drove the southern trailer, and Alan Douglas who drove the northern trailer – a hard task to go all the way there and back.
Finally, we are already looking forward to competing at next years event which will take place in Linz Austria where this year’s world senior championships took place. Masters rowing in Ireland is a growing sport with ever-increasing numbers taking part, and indeed it is exciting and enjoyable times right now to be involved.
Summary of all wins
Thu: C4- C4- A2- H1x D1x D8+
Fri: D4+ E1x C8+ E4- C1x
Sat: E8+ C2x D4- F2-