April has seen the rowing regatta season kick off with Neptune and Commercial regattas on the 7th & 8th of April respectively, with great participation from Junior to Master rowers, closely followed by the exciting University Championships in the National Rowing Centre on Friday, 13th April.
Unfortunately Skibbereen Regatta, due to run on the back of Uni Champs, was cancelled with bad weather forecast – hopefully we will see this rescheduled later in the season (possibly September, according to club secretary and top lightweight sculler, Denise Walsh).
Trinity boasted yet another weekend of great weather for their regatta, which will undoubtedly encourage visiting crews Blue Star and K.S.R.V Njord to return again next year. The racing for April was wrapped up by Limerick Regatta and Schools Regatta at O’Briens Bridge on the 28th and 29th of April, with the Schools Regatta showcasing some of Ireland’s up and coming talent!
The Senior and Intermediate 8+ events were primarily fought for by Trinity and Commercial crews in the Dublin based events, with both clubs strong contenders for the Championships later this year. NUIG who proved their dominance in 2017, again demonstrated their talent at the University Championships winning all 8+ events except the Novice event in which they had no crew entered, and successfully retained the Bank of Ireland Cup. The Club 8+ appears to be unpredictable, with strong performances from a number of clubs. The UCD Novice 8+ are holding off all competition, unbeaten so far this season. The Commercial Junior 8+’s appear to be quite strong and gained good experience mixing with other rowers in the Club 1 8+ at Trinity Regatta.
Trinity are struggling to keep the numbers for the Novice 8+ and appear to be focusing on the Novice 4x+ event. The Neptune Novices are also focusing on sculling, not yet entering an 8+ race, but competing in both Novice and Club grades to gain good racing experience.
Some athletes to watch out for, following success this month, include Skibbereen/UCC’s, Lydia Heaphy, who medalled in both the Senior and Intermediate single sculls at Uni Champs and Claire Feerick of Neptune, who came 3rd in the Women’s Intermediate 1x at Uni Champs and has had numerous single and double sculling wins this month.
As most of the racing has been in Dublin this month, not all clubs travel to compete. We look forward to seeing the talent of other clubs around the country in upcoming regattas and finding out what other clubs and crews are looking strong this year.
Neptune Regatta: 6th & 7th April
Commercial Regatta: 8th April
University Championships: 13th April
Trinity Regatta: 20th & 21st April