Club Captain Damien Kelly and Ronan Allen finished off the weekend’s rowing at the National Irish Championships in style on Sunday evening by winning the Intermediate Double Sculls Championship.
The boys qualified in first position from their heat. This gave them the advantage of lane 4 for the final. From the offset of the final, the boys pushed hard to put themselves out in front where they remained to the finish line. While both Waterford and Lee Boat Club tested them at times Ronan and Damien pushed on to the finish line with a time of 6.35.76. Damien and Ronan also competed together in the Senior Double Sculls on Friday and finished second to the experienced Old Collegians Crew of David Neal and Sean Jacob.
This is the first National Irish Championship win for the Garda Boat Club since 2008. It is fair to say that it was well deserved for Damien and Ronan and testament to the hard work they have put in all year.
Despite the fact that the only win this weekend was by the Men’s Intermediate Double, the Garda colours of azure and white were well represented at the Championships. On Saturday, in weather conditions that could only be described as terrible, Jackie Ryan qualified from her sculling heat in first position. She then went on to qualify in first position from the semi-finals also. In the final of the Women’s Club 1x Jackie battled hard but unfortunately had to settle for second position. Jackie had a strong start and pushed ahead for the first 1500m but as the rowing conditions got extremely choppy Lee Boat Club sculler Cremin pushed through to take the victory. It was an excellent row for Jackie Ryan who did the Garda oarswomen proud on the day.
Saturday also saw Laura Gannon and Sheila Kenny qualify from the heat of the Women’s Intermediate 2x to make the final. Despite the fact that Laura and Sheila had never raced together before the weekend they came together very well and finished in 4th position in the final.
Friday saw the maiden outing of the Women’s Intermediate 8 who had a straight final against some very experienced crews. The women had a strong start and held UCD for the first 500m. UCD then pulled away and the girls battled up the course with NUIG for second position. With the last 300m to go NUIG got out in front and the Garda crew had to settle for 3rd position ahead of the Trinity crew who came in 4th. The girls raced extremely well for a crew who had only a few weeks training done together. It should be noted that the winning crew UCD went on, on Sunday, to claim the Senior 8 Championship also. The women also raced the Intermediate 4 on Sunday morning where they came 4th in the final.
Overall it was an extremely enjoyable weekend of rowing for the Garda Boat Club which was all made possible by the consistent coaching of Willie Ryan. It may have taken 7 years for the club to claim a Championship victory but it is a sign of change for the club and judging by the close results over the weekend, it should be taken as a sign of what is to come for the club.
The club will be celebrating this Championship win along with the historic achievements of the famous B Crew of ’65 and Thames Cup Crew of ’75 at the Annual BBQ on 7th August and hope that all past and present members will join us on the night. I also must correct the previous email sent out which should have read the Great Garda B crew of 1965 and not 1955 as stated. We will put it down to a typo!
We are Looking forward to seeing you all at the BBQ,