GALLEY Flash were crowned Club of the Year at the 2019 South West Coastal Rowing Awards held recently at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery.
The club has made a huge contribution to South West rowing over the years and this was recognised as they took home the prestigious title, announced by Neil Grant of sponsors, the Celtic Ross Hotel, to the huge crowd of 400 that packed the banquet hall.
A notable feature of the awards night this year was the broad spread of medals across eight clubs. Topping the charts was phenomenal Kilmacsimon with 15 medal-winning crews, followed by Courtmacsherry and Galley with eight each, then Myross with seven, Ross and Ring with six crews each, Castletownbere with four and Kilmacabea with three.
A highlight of this year’s championships was in the senior men’s category where there was a changing of the old guard. The past decade had been dominated by the rivalry between two great crews from Galley and Courtmacsherry. This year, things have moved on with Myross and Kilmacsimon crews taking over. With five regattas in the championship, it was two wins each going into the final regatta in Schull, with Myross winning the title there in an epic race.
In the senior ladies’ category, Kilmacsimon put together a crew that no other club could match this year, and won all five regattas, replacing Castletownbere as champions.
The senior mixed category again provided fiercely contested battles between Myross and Kilmacsimon crews. With two wins each going into the final regatta in Schull, their boats could not be separated in that final race, even with the assistance of the camera, the race was declared a draw and the title shared.
Since the O’Donovan brother’s success in the Olympics three years ago, we have seen bigger participation in underage rowing throughout West Cork.
The uplift was particularly notable in the South West Schools’ Regatta earlier this year where fifth and sixth class primary school pupils rowed against each other. For the third year in a row there were increased numbers taking to the water, making it a busy but exciting time for coastal rowing clubs. Clubs are already looking forward to next year’s rowing season.