OFFALY Rowing Club entered a total of seven boats in the Carrick-on-Shannon Head of the River on Saturday, February 26 with three boats in the morning race and four crews in the afternoon race. However, the lack of training on the water due to the canal freezing was apparent in the results.
The Head of the River consisted of a morning and afternoon racing session over 5km starting at Jamestown and racing up against the flow to Carrick-on-Shannon town.
Fergal O’Connor from Offaly Rowing Club raced in a composite crew with Queens University and Belfast Rowing Club.
In the morning head, a total of two mens double and a womens quadruple scull were entered in the senior men, junior men and junior womens categories, respectively. Cathal Phelan and Patrick Grogan raced in the junior 16 double sculling event, and were placed second. They were also in the middle of the field at junior 18 level. Senior men Declan Dooley and David McCabe had an outing in the intermediate double scull. This was the first race for this combination.
The afternoon race saw the Offaly Rowing Club junior 16 men compete in a quadruple scull. The crew of Cathal Phelan, Patrick Grogan, James Peters, Patrick Walsh and cox Kaylin Maher had it’s first competitive outing, finishing in the middle of the field. Anthony Gannon raced in the mens junior scull in difficult conditions and performed well. He was the only competitor in this event. Vincent Hussey participated in the master’s single scull, and brought up the rear when the age related handicaps were taken into account.
Offaly Rowing Club’s junior women were entered in two quadruple sculls racing womens junior 16 in the morning and womens novice in the afternoon. The crew consisting of Leah Maher, Claire Mangan, Alison Mooney, Ellie Mulhall and cox Kaylin Maher was the first to race in the morning session. This was the first outing for some of the crew, and they registered a good time. The second girls’ quad raced in the novice category in the afternoon. Nicole Finlay, Claire Mangan, Vivienne Peters, Chanelle O Dwyer and cox Leah Maher represented the club at novice level. This was a first outing for this combination, and a reasonably good time was achieved.
On January 29, Offaly Rowing Club junior men raced at O’Briens Bridge in the St Michael’s Head of the River. The junior 18 quadruple scull of Maurice Harnett, James Houlihan, Cathal Phelan and Patrick Grogan finished third in a field of nineteen entrants.
The junior 18 double scull of John Neale and Mantas Pukelis were placed in the middle of a large field of competitors. Five single scullers raced in the Junior 18 category. Mantas Pukelis, James Houlihan, Maurice Harnett, John Neale and Anthony Gannon all raced in a competitive field of fifty one entries.
Only two Offaly Rowers competed in the junior 16 single scull category namely Cathal Phelan and Patrick Walsh.