CASTLETOWNSHEND Rowing Club has made a successful return to competitive action this past year – and they now need your help to continue making a big splash.
Focusing totally on offshore rowing, the club entered regattas at Courtmacsherry, Castletownbere and Bantry and achieved podium finishes at all three. The year finished on a high note when its woman’s double sculls crew won silver at the Irish Offshore Championships in Caherdaniel, Co Kerry.
Castletownshend has a proud rowing tradition. Founded in 1996, the club had huge success in yawl rowing in the early years of this century, winning All-Ireland gold in both the senior ladies and senior mixed categories.
Recent years have not been as fruitful, but a new era began in July 2017 when a new committee was elected. It is taking the club in a different direction, concentrating on offshore rowing, under international federation (FISA) rules.
The club has thus switched entirely from fixed-seat yawls to sliding-seat boats, which are similar to river rowing boats, but have wider hulls to cater for swells and wave turbulence in offshore/coastal waters. Unlike yawl rowing, there is an international dimension to offshore rowing whereby successful crews can ultimately aspire to compete in the world FISA coastal championships.
The committee plans to develop a strong adult membership initially, and is currently actively looking to recruit new members. Once well established, it hopes to then develop an underage section.
The club has a boathouse with gym and modern changing and showering facilities. The committee invested in a new FISA quad boat which was delivered last July, and is currently raising funds to help pay for it.
As part of its fundraising drive, it has launched a GoFundMe campaign on the club’s Facebook page which is open to public donations.
The club needs to raise over €5,000 for the new equipment and this is where you can help out. Go to Castletownshend’s GoFundMe page or the club’s Facebook page for details of how you can help.