Exciting plans are unveiled for South West coastal rowing

May 2nd, 2017 1:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Pictured at the SWCYRA championship launch at the Celtic Ross Hotel were, from left, Donal Hayes, Paddy Harrington, JJ O'Brien, Anna O'Sullivan, Stephen O'Leary, Finbarr McNulty, Neil Grant, Celtic Ross Hotel (sponsors), Ivone Buttimer (treasurer), Danny Hayes (chairman), Noel Creedon, Marguerite De

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THERE has been increased interest in coastal rowing off the back of the 2016 success of local sporting superstars, the O’Donovan brothers, Gary and Paul, according to South West Coast Yawl Rowing Association chairman, Danny Hayes.

At the recent launch of the 2017 West Cork season, held at the Celtic Ross hotel in Rosscarbery, Hayes said that all forms of rowing were experiencing an uplift in interest following ‘the outstanding success of the O’Donovan brothers in the Olympics’.  

Increasing numbers wish to take up rowing which is exciting for clubs, but he pointed out that it also poses a challenge in terms of resources and it will place extra demands on coaches and coxes, and extra demands on boats.

At the launch an action-packed calendar of events was announced starting with the primary schools’ regatta in May and finishing with the All-Ireland championships in Donegal in August.  

Neil Grant of the Celtic Ross Hotel announced that the hotel will continue its support and sponsorship of the association for 2017.  South West Rowing chairman Danny Hayes thanked the Celtic Ross and said that this is a huge financial boost for the organisation allowing it to promote and grow coastal rowing in ways that otherwise would not be possible. He wished clubs all the best for what promises to be an exciting year of rowing ahead.

South West rowing’s primary competition revolves around their five championship regattas. These are held in the most scenic coastal venues of West Cork: Glandore, Union Hall, Castletownshend, and Schull.  A new venue has been added this year, with the Courtmacsherry club hosting a regatta at Blind Strand. 

The leading boats from this championship will then take on their rivals from east Cork in the Cork county finals which will be held in Baltimore in July.

Continuing their heritage in timber boats, South West clubs will also take part in a series of timber yawl regattas.  These are held in Ring, Kilmacsimon, Kilkern Lake, Rosscarbery and in perhaps the most picturesque of all venues, Sherkin Island.

As a new initiative to deal with the increased demand from national school children, Hayes outlined that South West rowing is organising its first-ever schools regatta. This will be held at Kilkern Lake on May 21st where teams of primary schools’ pupils from fifth and sixth classes will race against each other.

Hayes also congratulated everyone involved in South West rowing’s introductory coxing course held in Rosscarbery earlier this month. It had a record attendance with 19 new coxes trained up. This is the fourth year running this course and it brings the total number of coxes trained to 50.

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