Castlewellan Regatta was held at Castlewellan Lake on 9th May 2015. With a change from the Grand League style it was back to the old ways of knockout rounds. Unfortunately a lot of clubs had planned on attending Skibbereen Regatta which was cancelled the previous week. This left a smaller than usual entry for one of the Northern Regatta, with a 6 lane 1500m course. Weather on the day improved as the racing went on but a strong tail wind favoured the lighter crews.
The only win of the day for the Garda Boat Club was yet again secured by the Women’s Club 4+ of Sheila Kenny, Jackie Ryan, Mary Moore, Liza Galvin and Siobhán Frisby. Disappointingly it turned out to be a straight final after a number of crews scratched. However, the Garda Ladies still had to overcome some stiff opposition, two of which were local Queen’s crews. The Garda Women gained a length of a lead coming towards the finish and held it to the line.
The ladies later split into singles, with Mary Moore making the final of the Club single. Jackie Ryan raced in a higher category in the intermediate single and fared well against tough competition, finishing 3rd.
Club Captain Damien Kelly faced Sam Mc Keown of Portadown Boat Club yet again in the Intermediate single scull. Disappointingly, it was only the two scullers who ended up entering the event. Kelly fared well against Mc Keown but coming towards the line the local sculler pulled out a lead to have Kelly finish in second.
Ronan Allen and Daire Mac Eoin competed in the Club Singles with Ronan making it through to the final. Ronan struggled with choppy conditions in the final but raced it all the way to the line. Later in the evening, Daire Mac Eoin and Kevin Sheehan teamed up in the Club Double. After qualifying for the final, they were leading coming towards the 1000m marker. At the 1000m marker, the Sligo crew, coached by ex-Garda Oarsman Tom Colsh began to make a push. Colsh surely used his experience gained in the Garda Boat Club to spur on his crew to pass Kevin and Daire and deservedly take the victory.
The next outing for the Garda crews is Dublin Metropolitian Regatta which will be held at Blessington Lakes on 23rd May 2015. This is a great opportunity for past and present club members along with family, partners and friends to come along and enjoy the days rowing. If anyone is interested in getting a close up view on the day, there are plenty of spots available for volunteers in launches and umpire boats.