Enniskillen Royal Boat Club coach Derek Holland was delighted with the performance of the club’s rowers as they returned home from the Irish Championships in Cork with 14 gold medals, including three championship titles.
It was another record breaking return for ERBC and Holland was full of praise for the rowers.
“We were very happy with how things went. We maybe threw away one or two but we were more than happy with the performances that the kids put in. All the rowers were really impressive.
“It’s been a good year for us,” he stated.
The three championship titles came in the Boys Intermediate Coxless Pair, the MJ 18 8+ and the WJ 18 4-.
“It wasn’t too long ago that we were just hoping to get one so to come away with three is great,” he said.
“The Boys 8 wanted to get back on track after missing out last year when they were going for five in a row. They raced really well in the final and held on for the win.”
There was an impressive win also in the Intermediate Coxless Pairs.
“Those two boys, Jack and Nathan, they thoroughly deserved their win. They came up against strong crews from Limerick, Cork and Galway and held on for a great win. They were really impressive in the way they rowed that race,” he added.
And there was also a touch of disappointment with the Girls 18 8 and Boys 18 4 missing out.
“The Girls came up against a strong crew from Bann who were our main competition all year. Maybe trying to do Henley trips and everything with that was a factor but we put up a great race against them but just came up short. I couldn’t fault the girls effort.
“The Boys 4 would have been our first boat but a little bit of illness in the camp didn’t help them on Saturday and Sunday,” he said.
He was though very pleased with the younger age groups who came away with medals.
“We had 78 kids down there and the majority of them came away with a medal. We would be very strong at the Junior 14, 15, 16 age group and you have somebody like Laura Turner who is only 14 came away with four gold medals. 
“To have recorded 14 wins in total is great and it certainly bodes well for the strength and depth of the club going forward. We will have another big intake of kids in September and that will further strengthen it,” commented Holland.
The championships concluded the season for the club with none of the rowers heading away on international duty as they would have in previous years.
Holland explains that a change by Rowing Ireland simply made it too big a commitment on the young athletes to represent Ireland.
“Rowing Ireland asked for major commitment from kids to travel up and down to Cork one weekend in every five from September onwards and it is just too much time and commitment. It is also expensive to go down to Cork every five weeks to train and look for selection while the kids also have exams to deal with.
“All the kids that would have been going this year have rowed for Ireland before and picked up medals and they have decided they don’t want to do it this year but with the younger kids coming up we would hope that things would be slightly different. I think that something has to change.”