IN the run-up to the National Championships at the National Rowing Centre in Inniscarra, Co. Cork, Offaly rowers have endured mixed success at a number of regattas during the months of May and June.
Competing in Limerick Regatta on May 12 were the mens junior 14 coxed quad of Diarmuid Mangan, Killian Keenan, Billy Mulhall, Tadhg Phelan with cox Andrew Walsh. In their first regatta race the quad finished in third place.
Also competing in Limerick were Adam O’Donohue, in the mens senior single scull, and Marie Piggott, competing in both the womens novice and intermediate single sculls. There was a win for Adam O’Donohue over Commercial Rowing Club, Dublin and a win for Marie in the intermediate single sculls.
For the senior club members Adam O’Donohue, Marie Piggott and Vincent Hussey, the unfavourable weather conditions at Metropolitan Regatta, Blessington, Co Wicklow forced race organisers to cancel the regatta.
Offaly Rowing Club only managed to take home one win at Carlow Regatta namely Vincent Hussey in the mens masters category. In his first race of the season Vincent Hussey comfortably beat Three Castles Rowing Club, Blessington.
Adam O’Donohue represented Offaly in the mens senior single scull. Adam qualified comfortably from his heat to the semi-final but narrowly missed out on a place in the finals to Carlow.
At junior level Alison Mooney competed in the womens junior 14 single scull and came second to Carlow. Áine Murphy racing in the junior 15 womens single scull comfortably won her heats but could only manage to take second place to Carlow.
In the womens junior 15 double scull Alison and Áine were unfortunate to come second to Carlow. The girls had a very good start and moved the boat very well but did not manage to pull ahead of the Carlow double scull.
Competing in the mens junior 18B single scull category were Patrick Grogan and Patrick Walsh. Patrick Grogan was beaten in the semi-finals while Patrick Walsh qualified for the finals. Unfortunately, going wide on the large sweeping bend at 600m lost Patrick some ground resulting in him coming in second place.
Carlow Regatta was the first competition for the Offaly / Graiguenamanagh composite invitational womens masters quadruple scull with a win for the women of New Ross Rowing Club. The Offaly / Graiguenamanagh composite crew consisted of Brenda Colgan, Deirdre Gannon and Niamh Ní Bhroin with cox Patrick Walsh of Offaly Rowing Club.
In the last racing weekend before the National Championships Offaly rowers travelled to Cork City Regatta at the National Rowing Centre, Inniscarra and Fermoy Sprint Regatta, Fermoy.
Division 1 of Cork City Regatta was for selection of the Irish squad for the Home Countries Regatta of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales which will be held in Cardiff in late July. Offaly members competing for a squad place were Adam O’Donohue in the mens senior single scull and Anthony Gannon in the mens lightweight single scull. Adam was placed 16th while Anthony who came 7th in his category was ranked 38th overall in very rough conditions.
Other local rowers also competing at the regatta included Eimear Moran and Joanne Moran (Three Castles Rowing Club, Wicklow), David Neale (UCD, Dublin) and Sean O Connor (NUIG, Galway). Amy Bulham of UCD Ladies Boat Club, Dublin but training with Offaly Rowing Club for the summer season was also competing. In the mens masters Offaly’s Vincent Hussey finished second behind Clonmel Rowing Club but ahead of two competitors from Three Castles Rowing Club, Wicklow, Waterford Rowing Club and Cappoquin Rowing Club.
Competing in the Fermoy Sprints over 500m on Sunday, June 24 were Patrick Walsh in the mens junior 18 single sculls who qualified for the semi-finals while Vincent Hussey competed in the mens masters but failed to progress to the semi-finals.
The mens junior 14 coxed quad of James Fallon, Andrew Walsh, Killian Keenan, Billy Mulhall and cox Ellie Mulhall finished second in their heat to Shandon Rowing Club.