Following the initial cancellation of the annual Dublin Metropolitan Regatta, the competition was rescheduled to the 9th of June which saw a day of brilliant sunshine and even better talent.
It was commented by an ex-international athlete that the standard of junior racing has risen, with the junior crews showing great skill and promise, beating crews with more experience and size. With the Rowing Ireland U23 HP trials and the annual Queen’s University vs. Trinity College Boat Race, there were fewer entries than originally scheduled.
The Division 1 Single Sculls saw some competitive J18 racing with two New Ross athletes battling to the finish line.
Shona Tierney beat Laura Brown by just over a second, with Niamh Clark of Neptune finishing in third. Niamh Clark was in action in the Division 2 double with her sister Ava as Club 2, finishing second in the A final to Carlows J16 crew. The Carlow crew put serious distance between them and their competitors with the next J16 crew (Three Castles) finishing 37 seconds behind.
Castleconnell’s J18 crew had success in the pair event, beating the three St. Michael’s and one Carlow crew. The Division 2 Single Sculls was a straight final, with three Club 2 and three J16 entries. Poh of Neptune was first home, winning the Club 2 category and Irwin of Three Castles finishing third overall but winning the J16 category.
The Division 2 coxed quad final saw a Junior 16 Commercial crew beat the rest of the field by at least 3 seconds, including Club 2 crews. The Fermoy Novice crew exuded class of a crew with much more experience, racing well in both the heat and final.
We’ll be watching Novice crews in the upcoming regattas but we’d be surprised if the strong Fermoy crew don’t place in the top three at the National Championships. The Neptune Club 2 Quad beat Fermoy by just half a second following a big push in the last 500m and the Neptune Novice Quad finished 39 seconds behind these crews.
The Women’s Division 4+ was a straight final and took place before the 8+ event, with competitors getting a preview of their competition for the later event. The Neptune 4+ stayed consistent and strong over the 2km course putting 3 lengths into their nearest competitors.
UCD and Shannon raced hard to the line with UCD crossing the line in second place (7.05.07 mins), followed closely by Shannon (7.08.3 mins) and Belfast finished in a time of 7.23.86 mins.
The Division 2 8+ event saw 5 crews line up at the start line: Commercial Juniors, Shannon, UCD, Neptune and St. Michaels.
Described as one of the most exciting races of the day, the four club boats were hammering home to the finish line. In this seasons Islandbridge regattas there have been wins in the Club 2 grade by Commercial (Club 2 and Junior crews) and Neptune.
Although Neptune beat the UCD 4+ well, the UCD crew lined up with the aim of levelling the playing field. UCD have dominated in the Novice grade and Dublin Metropolitan saw the Club crew, which included five novices, cross the finish line first. They moved early and held on to the lead as best they could despite the best efforts of Neptune and St. Michael’s attempt to move up on them. Neptune and St. Michael’s fought hard, side by side, the whole way up the course, with Neptune driving it home to second place in the final stretch.
Over the coming weeks UCD and NUIG are taking to the UK for Reading and Henley Women’s Regatta, while some of their competitors will continue to compete at domestic competition.
These crews may not meet again until the National Championships, which will prove to be another exciting race in July. With Reading Regatta kicking off on the 16th of June, we hope they have better weather over the water and wish the Irish crews best of luck – keep us updated by tagging #HerSport!
Disappointingly there was little representation in the Senior category, likely due to the other events taking place but hopefully we will see Ireland’s Senior athletes in the upcoming Cork Regatta as unfortunately, Athlone Regatta which was scheduled to take place on the 16th of June has been cancelled. The weather has seriously impacted the racing calendar this year with so many events called off due to unsuitable conditions.
As the first event of the Grand League has been tallied, Commerical stand first in the overall category with 902 points. Neptune are in second place overall (741 points) and top the Women’s Division 2 grade with 304 points. St. Michael’s are currently top of the table in the Women’s Division 2 grade with 110 points.
With some great prizes at stake, we expect to see some more exciting racing at the next Grand League event; Cork Regatta.