WHAT great strides Rosscarbery have made in recent years in developing their underage rowing.
Last Saturday night week, their season culminated with the club receiving the club of the year title at the annual South West rowing awards night held in the Celtic Ross Hotel.
At a sold-out banquet, a crowd of over 400 applauded Rosscarbery for the great progress made. In the eight underage categories rowed in the South West championships in 2018, they won gold in three and silver in three more. Their fellow clubs acknowledged their achievements by voting them as the club of the year 2018. The uplift in underage rowing is not confined to Ross. Since the O’Donovan brothers’ success at the 2016 Olympics, we have seen bigger participation throughout West Cork. In the South West championships, the numbers rowing has increased by a third over the past two years, and this extra competition has undoubtedly contributed to a lift in rowing standards.
The intense competition was particularly notable in the marquee events. In the senior men’s category, possibly for the first time ever, there were four different race winners in the five championship regattas. Galley managed to win a second time, thus securing the title.
The senior-mixed category had three different race winners while in the senior women, Castletownbere and Galley battled throughout the campaign, with the former taking the title with three wins compared to Galley’s two.
One of the notable features of the awards night was the broad spread of medals across eight clubs. Topping the charts was phenomenal Kilmacsimon with 12 medal-winning crews, followed by Courtmacsherry and Ring with nine each, then Galley, Ross and Kilmacabea with six crews each, Myross with five and Castletownbere with three.
With the continued support of the Celtic Ross Hotel, the South West was able to add additional events to the calendar in 2018. In a historic day in April, the first-ever Munster coastal rowing regatta was held in the beautiful surroundings of Glandore harbour, where clubs from Kerry and Cork raced for the title of Munster champions.
For the second year running, the association held Ireland’s largest primary schools coastal rowing regatta, where 25 west Cork schools and over 200 rowers competed in Rosscarbery. Most of these young rowers were racing for the first time in an event designed to showcase coastal rowing to an ever wider audience in West Cork.