There was a warm welcome for the sizeable crowd at Trinity Regatta on Saturday 18th April 2015. The winter weather gave way to sun shine and the Garda Crews certainly ‘made hay when the sun shone’. With one or two qualifying races on Friday evening, all Garda crews made it safely through to the main event on Saturday morning. The first on the water was the Women’s Club 4 (Shelia Kenny, Laura Gannon, Mary Moore, Liza Galvin, Siobhan Frisby (Cox)) Ater a strong performance that made it through their first round without any major incident. They went on to have a tougher race in their semi final against Methody College, Belfast. Passing the Garda slip level, the Garda Oarswomen managed to push out a length of a lead which they held to the finish and secured a place in the final. The determined Garda crewe raced UCD in the final and after taking an early lead they pushed home for a fantastic victory. It was a historic moment as they returned to the slip as Pat Gannon met his daughter Laura racing in Garda colours for the first time. Nearly to the day 30 years previously Pat Gannon won his first medal for the Garda Boat Club and then went on to represent the Club and Country at the World Championships and Olympics.
The Garda Men’s Squad raced in single sculls, with Ronan Allen and Club Captain Damien Kelly entered in a number of different events. After making it through the semi finals, it turned out to be an all Garda final in the Men’s Intermediate Single Scull final between Ronan and Damien. Ronan, an up an coming young sculler, clearly didn’t read the script as he pushed the Club Captain to his limits in a tight race all the way down the course. It wasn’t until the Army bend that Damien managed to etch out a lead which he stretched to a narrow one length margin by the finish line.
Damien then went back up the course to compete in the final of the Men’s Senior Single Sculls against Fionnan Groome of Commercial. The two scullers were very close all the way until they met a stiff headwind which Kelly managed to capitilise on. The Garda Sculler finished ahead of Groome by one length to secure the third win for Garda Boat Club of the day. The last race of the day saw Ronan Allen competing in the Club single against Trinity. Somehow not exhausted from his earlier tight race, Allen got a good lead against Trinity and won with clear water behind him to secure the fourth and final win for the Garda Boat Club.
Throughout the day, all the Garda rowers were cheered on by coaches Willie Ryan and Kevin Sheen along with past and present club members. Tea and Coffee was served up by Vivienne Ryan throughout the day along with cakes and sandwiches made by the rowers for some much needed fundraising. It was a great day all round for the Club and encouraging to see so many past and present members supporting the current crop of athletes.
The next event for the Garda Crew is Limerick Regatta on Saturday 25th April 2015, hopefully more silverware will be captured and returned to Islandbridge to add to the ever expanding hoard!