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National Rowing Championships in Cork 2014
“The National Rowing Championships were held 11th – 13th July 2014 at the National Rowing Centre, Farran Wood, Cork. Thankfully the rain held off for the weekend and we were greeted with excellent rowing conditions for the most part of the event. With their new gear, sponsored by St Pauls Garda Credit Union, hopes were high for the weekend.
The first crews up on the Friday were the Mens and Womens 4’s along with the Womens Intermediate 8’s along with Olive Holden in the Lightweight 1x. With all crews focusing on their main events for Sunday, this was an excellent opportunity for one last session to iron out the cobwebs. All crews raced to the best of their potential but unfortunately the standard was at a higher level for them.
Saturday morning saw Ronan Allen taking to the water in his second ever race in the Club 1x. Ronan did not fail to impress all around him during the year with his attitude and committment to training nor did he fail to impress those at the NRC on Saturday morning. Ronan came from being down in his heat to cruise to vistory. Again in his semi final he had a good row which secured him a spot in his first ever Championship final. He went on to race the final, which was won by D. O Sullivan of Lee Boat Club. Ronan did himself and GSBC very proud and is surely one to watch for next years rowing season.
Later in the afternoon, it was the turn of the rest of the mens crew to emulate Ronan’s success, this time in the Intermediate 1x. Philip Murphy, Daire Mac Eoin and Club Captain Damien Kelly took to the water for their heats. Unfortunately, Damien was the only Garda sculler to make it out of the heats. Damien again raced well in his semi final to secure a spot in the hotly contested final. Turlough Hughes of UCD won the final in convincing fashion, however, the remaining scullers were in a very close battle for all positions behind him. Damien secured 4th place, missing out on 3rd by only half a canvas. This was to be the highest placed Garda result for the weekend and again bodes well for further progression next year.
Sunday morning saw an armada of Garda Boats take to the water. The mens Club 4+ of Kevin Sheehan, Philip Murphy, Ronan Allen and Daire Mac Eoin were coxed through their heat by Gavin Connolly but unfortunately didn’t pass further than the next round. Likewise, Olive Holden raced in the Intermediate 1x but unfortunately did not make the final. The previous days escapades had taken their toll on Damien Kelly who competed in the Senior 1x. He raced well but finished just outside of the qualifying positions.
The Womens Club 8 were the final Garda crew to take to the water. The womens crew have raced well throughout the season and were hopefull of securing silverware at the Champioships. They were drawn in a tough heat against all the main opposition which had come out of the woodwork for National Championships. NUIG were the hot favourites and had already won the Club 4+. They were first out of the blocks and left the rest of the pack trailing behind them. The Garda women rowed well and raced their heat all the way to the finish line but unfortunately did not qualify.
Although no silverware was collected this year all crews performed well and will be back next year to make the next leap to success. With over 15 Garda Crews compeiting over the weekend it is safe to say that the club is still alive and well. At every other regatta this year, the club has secured silverware. The Azure and White is sureley on the rise again and will hopefully continue to rise next year.
All the rowers from the Garda Squad would like to wish Olive Holden the best of luck at the Home International Regatta at NRC on 28th July. Olive will don her first Irish singlet in the Womens Lightweight 2x against the best that England, Scotland and Wales can offer and will be proudly supported by all the club.
The rowers would also like to thank their coaches Willie Ryan, Gerry Conway and Brian Hoey along with the Club Committee and all the club supporters and sponsors for all their hard work and committment during the eyar. It would not have been possible to have 15 Garda Crews rowing without their support and help.
Hopefully, everyone will be able to join us at the Club BBQ and Garda Rowing Champioships on 1st August. In particular, this year is the diamond jubilee of the club which will be of added importance.”