SEVEN Galley Flash rowers made the journey to Portmagee, Co Kerry, for the Irish Offshore Rowing Championships, which took place last weekend.
Given the current status of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were, of course, many differences between this year’s championships and previous iterations of the event. Huge credit must be given to host club Portmagee for a very well-run event, in line with all public health guidelines.
John Harrington was the first of the Galley contingent to take to the water on what was an exceptionally sunny Saturday in the qualifying heat of the men’s solo event. Having led from the early stages of this qualifier, John went on to win in convincing style, laying down a marker for what was to follow in the final.
In very different conditions to the Saturday, heavy mist greeted rowers on the Sunday morning. It was in this mist that an incredible men’s solo final played out with Rosscarbery’s Kaelen Mannix battling it out with John for the entire race.
A slight tangle between the two West Cork men at the marker led to some neck and neck racing with the commentators unable to divide the pair. After the final marker, Mannix gained a small lead, which he maintained for the remainder of the race.
A silver medal awaited John Harrington in a well-deserved accolade for the clubman who has put in an enormous amount of work, not only in his own training but also getting the club back in action in line with Covid protocol.
Sisters Niamh Hayes and Carol McCarthy both rowed very well against tough competition in the ladies’ solo race, a line up which included former world soastal champion Monika Dukarska. Having qualified at relative ease on Saturday, they again lined out in the final on Sunday.
A fantastic display of rowing from the Galley Flash ladies was witnessed by those in attendance and, whilst outside the medal standings, both should be very proud of their achievements.
The ‘Doolic’ was in action, for only the second time this year, in the men’s quad qualifying heats. Mark O’ Brien, Paddy Harrington, Seán Keohane, Paul Deasy and cox John Harrington took to the water in this one. With five boats to qualify, this team was very unlucky not to qualify, having finished in sixth place in this very challenging category.
The club thanked all those who made the weekend a success; the seven rowers for their fantastic performances and for representing the club so well under such exceptional circumstances; Margaret for providing video clips and race updates for social media and reporting; Donal for his great photos; Paul for towing the quad and the shore crew and supporters who were on hand to help.