Irish Rowing Championships 2011
Thursday, 14 July 2011 14:21

Day One of the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre proved to be very successful for the club.    On a warm, overcast day the first boat on the water was our WJ 2X of Laura Coleman and Niamh O'Mahony.   The girls rowed well to qualify in third place in their semi-final.   In the final, which was won by Skibbereen, they were in 5th place until the last 200 metres when they gritted their teeth and put in a determined effort which took them past Carraig on Shannon and into 4th.

Next on the water was the MN4X+ of Andy Harrington (stk), Jack Casey, Otto Cronje, Oisin Dwane and Laura Jevens (cox) won their heat and then went on to win a surprise (well to some) victory over Queen's University Boat Club, St Michaels and UCC. This was a fantastic result by the boys considering that Andy and Jack are both J16s and Otto and Oisin J18s and were giving away years to the Universtiy crews.

Our WJ14 1X entries - Jill Crowley and Claudia O'Sullivan - completed our entries on the first day.   Both girls rowed very well but were up against more experienced girls in their races and finished down the field.


Day Two  - another good day for Shandon.   In the MJ14 1X Colm Hennessy had a great win in his final where he lead for most of the race and rowed out strongly to win at the end.   This was Colm's third regatta and his third win.  Long may it last!

Jack Casey finished 5th from 43 starters in the MJ16 1X time trial.  Unfortunately he was drawn in by far the toughest semi-final where in finishing 3rd to the evenual winner of the event he just missed out qualifying for the final.

Shane Coffey and Oisin Dwane qualified for the final of the MJ18 2X by winning their heat and finished a very creditable 4th from 6 in the final.  

One of the best results of the day for Shandon was in the WN 1X where both Holly Lingwood and Roisin Mertz qualified for the final.  In a very tight race Roisin, who lead through half way, was just beaten by a Bann RC (Coleraine) sculler while Holly finished a very creditable 4th.    An excellent result for the club in a high quality event.

The best wine was kept to last when Liam Hennessy won his final in the MJ15 1X in spectacular style.   Liam was over a length down on a very strong Skibbereen sculler with only 200 metres left.   Liam dug in and drove hard and metre by metre clawed it back putting the Skibb lad under such pressure that he almost stopped and amid great excitement in the enclosure Liam won out by a full length.  

So two wins on Day Two and some excellent other performances.   Credit also to all the other club competitors in the MJ14 1X, MN 1X, WJ15 4X, WJ16 4X, WJ18 1X, who rowed very well and showed the promise in the club for next year and beyond.


Day Three - a tougher day in terms of the weather and the competition.    The MJ18 4X- failed to qualify from their early morning heat in the always tough J18 event as did Karen Corcoran O'Hare who had ambitiously entered the WS 1X as well as the WI 1X.    Karen soon realised in her heat in the Senior event that she was not going to qualify for the final and wisely conserved her strenght for the later Intermediate event.    In the WI 1X she qualified well for the final in which she finished a battling third behind the favourite Laura D'Urso from Derry.   The WJ18 4X- rowing well in difficult conditions qualified for their final in which they found Skibbereen and Cork Boat Club too strong for them.   This ended a great season for a group of girls all of whom will be J18 again next year - and rowing? Exams permitting!!


In summary a very enjoyable Irish Rowing Championships for Shandon with plenty of entries and exciting racing.    Three excellent wins (our highest since 1997) and any number of exciting heat and final finishes.   Everything to look forward to in 2012.