SUNSHINE and the impressive surroundings of Schull harbour attracted a large crowd to the Irish Coastal Rowing Championships.
Hosted by the South West Rowing Association, it was held over two days and attracted the best of coastal rowers from around the country.
Reviewing the performance of West Cork clubs at these championships, the omens were good from the early stages when Ring won gold in the U18 category on Saturday. The club followed this up over the weekend when their senior mixed crew secured gold as did its impressive U21 men. Its intermediate men secured bronze to complete Ring’s medal haul.
For Galley Flash, the highlight had to be its U12 crew winning gold. The club went on to win two more categories – the pre-veteran women and the timber yawl women races. It also took silver in the U14s, the pre-veteran mixed timber yawl men and the intermediate women. It secured a strongly contested bronze in the U12 women’s race and another in the senior women’s race.
The Rosscarbery club’s underage rowers were represented on the podium in all underage categories, a remarkable achievement. Its U14 women took gold and it was silver for U12 women, U18 women and U21 women. It was bronze for their U18, U16 women, U14, U12 and U16 crews. At adult level, its junior men’s crew rowed to gold and the pre-veteran women and junior women’s crews both took bronze.
For Courtmacsherry Rowing Club, there were six podium finishes. The highlight had to be its pre-veteran mixed crew winning gold in what was an exciting race to the finish line. They won in a time of 7.07 minutes, staving off the Galley Flash crew by just 0.23 of a second. The club also won three silver, in masters mixed, masters ladies and veteran ladies while it was bronze for its intermediate ladies and masters’ men crews.
Myross took to the water Saturday afternoon and picked up gold in the open classic men and then took three silvers in the open classic women, the open sprint women and the men’s open sprint.
Kilmacsimon secured three gold titles, with top honours going to its U16 women, intermediate men, and timber yawl men. Its crews won eight silver medals; in pre-veteran men, pre-veteran women, U18, the timber yawl women’s crew, U16, U14 women, junior men, senior women and senior men.
In the last race of the championships Kilmacsimon’s senior men’s crew pulled out all the stops in the final quarter of the race to overcome Wicklow/Portmagee and secure that eighth silver for the club. The club also picked up six bronze – U12 women, open classic men, open sprint women, open sprint men, pre-veteran mixed and masters mixed.
Castletownbere also secured three gold titles. Both its women and men’s open sprint crews took gold. In the women’s open classic, its crew also came home first while in the men’s open classic, they took home the silver medal.
The West Cork clubs did not have it all their own way. East Cork club Whitegate won club of the day, having achieved most gold. The top club for entries came from Kerry with Callinafercy sending 44 crews to the event, while the east coast was well represented with strong entries from Wicklow and Wexford clubs.