WHILE two of Skibbereen Rowing Club’s most famous sons, Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy, were being crowned 2021 World Rowing Men’s Crew of the Year on Saturday, the next generation of the club’s rowers were taking their first competitive strokes.
The club sent ten crews to the 2022 Shandon Head of the River on the Marina in Cork city last Saturday, and this was a 4.5km race against the clock.
Skibb’s crews ranged from experienced senior men and women to J15 and J16 athletes competing at their first-ever rowing event. Given Skibb’s standing as the most successful rowing club in the country it’s no surprise the club athletes starred on the day, securing five wins.
The women’s senior quad of Orla Hayes, Marie Pigot, Alyssa Mannix and Caoimhe Casey won, as did the women's intermediate quad of Lucy Canon, Niamh O’Donovan, Caitriona O’Neill and Alannah Keane with cox Janet Murran. Skibbereen’s men’s intermediate quad of Stephen Harrington, Jonathon McCarthy, Micheal Hourihane and James Stout with cox Rowan O'Driscoll also won. There was success, too, for the junior women’s crews as the junior 16 quad of Hazel Deane, Moya Knowles, Jessica Crowley and Aoife Hendy with cox Rowan O’Driscoll came out on top, and so too did the junior 15 octuple of Hazel Deane, Jessica Crowley, Aoife Hendy, Chloe O’Donovan, Audrey McCarthy, Robin Arentz, Abigail Fowler and Eve Waugh O’Brien with cox Bernadette Walsh.
The Cork Head of the River, on the Marina again, is the next big target in early March.