COURTMACSHERRY and Ring Rowing Clubs are playing a strong role in bringing high end tourism to West Cork.
A group of 18 Swiss rowing enthusiasts recently arrived to take part in the first ever Coastal Rowing tour of West Cork.
The week-long tour was organised by the Canadian based rowing tour company Rowing the World who linked up with Courtmacsherry and Ring rowing clubs to put together a unique experience that involved river, coastal and open sea rowing.
The week consisted of four days of rowing with sightseeing and rest periods in the remaining three days. Beautiful weather greeted the group on each day of the tour which made for perfect rowing conditions. Day one saw the group row the river Lee starting at Shandon boat club and taking in the sights from Cork city centre to Blackrock castle, this was a flat water experience and a good introduction to Irish waters for the group.
From there the group decamped to Baltimore where day two involved rowing the river Ilen and circumnavigating Heir Island, finishing at Baltimore pier. The group were very excited to pass the now famous Skibbereen Rowing Club and to row in the same waters that the O’Donovan brothers had grown up on.
Day three was the first trip into the open waters of the Atlantic with the group rowing from Baltimore pier to Tragumna beach through the needles on the way. For a group of oarsmen and women that have spent their lives rowing on the lakes of Switzerland, to experience a sea swell off the coast of West Cork was anew experience.
Day four saw the group explore more of the Carbery Islands, again starting from Baltimore pier and rowing deep into Roaring Water bay before passing through Horse and Castle Islands, returning to Baltimore via Sherkin Island.
The group from Seeclub Kunsnacht in Switzerland in total rowed almost 100 kilometres over the course of the week and thoroughly enjoyed beautiful West Cork in the process. Ruth Marr managing director of Rowing the World said: ‘The week went excellently, everything from the hospitality, the food, the weather and of course the different experiences of river, coastal and open sea rowing made this a truly unique experience for all involved. We are very grateful to Courtmacsherry and Ring rowing clubs for making their boats available and to Brian, Padraig and Vincent for guiding us each day. I would encourage continued investment in the rowing infrastructure in West Cork, which would allow more tours to be organised in the future.’
Brian Whelton Chairperson of Courtmacsherry Rowing Club said: ‘We are delighted to have been involved with Rowing the World in bringing rowing tourism to West cork. We are excited about the possibility of growing this form of tourism further into the future.’