Enniskillen Royal Boat Club recently had members take part in both the Neptune and Skibbereen Regattas.
Junior members travelled to Dublin for the first regatta of the summer racing season: Neptune Regatta.
The boat club wasted no time in exerting its dominance in Dublin as the club won the Women’s J15 8+ before taking any strokes in the final. Having fielded three crews, an Enniskillen A versus Enniskillen B final was set up. The B crew, made up entirely of those aged 14 and in their first year of rowing pushed hard off the start; however, the experience of the A crew showed as they pushed away in the second half of the race to win.
Next on the podium was the Men’s Junior 18 quad of Jack McDade, Jack Kennedy, Rory Blake and Matthew McBrien. After questionable steering from both crews and a number of clashes off the start the Enniskillen Royal crew went on to beat Methodist College Belfast by two boat lengths.
It was the club’s Junior 16 squad who produced two of the most dominant displays of the day; however, as they came through their heats without a serious challenge to claim two more wins. The Men’s Junior 16 quad with the ever improving Stewart brothers in the middle of the boat beat Blackrock College easily in the final while half of the Women’s Junior 15 eight teamed up with their Junior 16 team mates to win in the Women’s Junior 16 eight comfortable from Killorglin.
Perhaps the most thrilling race though came from the Women’s Junior 14 quad of Amy Pryce, Carragh Leonard, Jenny Little and Katie Corrigan. Despite having done very little rowing with two oars, this young crew made it’s way through the heats and semi-finals to the final where they just missed out in a close encounter with Bann Rowing Club.
Last weekend, the senior members of Enniskillen Royal Boat Club travelled to Skibbereen Regatta at the National Rowing Centre in Cork. While the regatta offered a last chance to represent Ireland in the summer it also presented an opportunity to test the waters for the season ahead.
Unlike other regattas, as part of Rowing Ireland’s Grand League Series, all boat class’s race each other regardless of age and grade with crews being ranked and placed into finals reflective of their speed following a heat.
Racing in the first event of the weekend for the club, were four Enniskillen Royal Men’s Pairs. Following the heats the pairs of Ross Corrigan/Aaron Johnston and Nathan Timoney/Odhran Donaghy were placed to Final A and Final B respectively. Corrigan and Johnston continued their form to win the Men’s Junior Pair convincingly and finish third overall while Timoney and Donaghy finished as the sixth fastest Junior Pair to keep their hopes of representing Ireland this summer alive.
A few hours later and Nathan Timoney, Aaron Johnston and Ross Corrigan teamed up with Conor McLaughlin and cox Rory Farragher to produce one of the most dominant performances of the weekend. Racing in the Men’s Coxed Four, the crew obliterated their nearest junior rivals in the heat by over 20 seconds before winning Final A with two seconds to spare over the nearest senior crew.
For the girl’s crew of Mia-Jayne Elliott, Zoe McCutcheon, Caitlynn Fee and Miriam Kelly their first race presented an adventure into the unknown trading one oar for two as they raced in the Women’s Quad. Having not been in this boat since the winter the girls finished a promising second in Women’s Junior Quad and only two seconds behind the winners.
Day two saw the girls return to rowing with one oar and they obliterated their junior rivals by over 30 seconds in the heats to qualify as the only junior crew in Final A and automatically win the Women’s Junior four. In the final they bested a junior composite crew, their rivals for Irish selection by three seconds to keep their hopes alive for the summer.
The final event of the weekend saw the boy’s return to the blue riband event and their beloved Men’s Eight. Returning as Irish Champions for the third consecutive year the boys showed no sign of relinquishing the title.
They beat their nearest junior rivals Commercial from Dublin by five seconds in the heat to qualify as the only junior crew in Final A before finishing fifth overall.
The boys will want more the next time they meet, perhaps a sign of the ambition and the bright future this crew has.