On 14th March 2015, newly promoted Sergeant Damien Kelly led by example at the ever popular Galway Head of the River. Competing in the second race of the day Club Captain Damien Kelly negotiated the challenging course on the River Corrib to secure 1st place in the Men’s Intermediate Single Scull. Following some clarification of the race timing, it was confirmed that the he was the overall fastest sculler of the day! This is the first victory at elite level at Galway Head of the River for the Garda Boat Club in a number of years . Damien secured the coveted “Irish Nationwide Trophy”, for the fastest single sculler of the day. One of the last Garda Scullers to hold this trophy was Damien’s current coach Willie Ryan, interestingly he his name is added to the winners list which also includes none other than Sir Steve Redgrave!
As ever, the event was well attended by clubs from across the country. The Garda Mens Intermediate Double Sculls and Womens Quadruple Coxed Quad also comppted with distinction. The Mens Crew of Ronan Allen and Kevin Sheehan raced well on the morning but were outdone by their female club mates. Coxed by the new and improving cox, Siobhan Frisby, the womens crew had a few teeth clenching moments on their way to winning the Women’s Coxed Quad. The crew was, Shelia Kenny, Jackie Ryan, Mary Moore and Liza Galvin.
Overall it was a great day for racing with the Garda Crews making significant progress since their Seville Training Camp. Previous coaches and rowers were on hand on the day in the form of Gerry Conway, Mick Ahern and Caroline Ryan to give words of advice and encouragement. The end of the Head of the River Season was a good day for the club and bodes well for the forthcoming Regatta Season which will start on the 4th April with Neptune Regatta at Islandbridge.