Castletroy College under the tutelage of Castleconnell Boat Club had 14 crews entered in this the 12th Rowing Ireland Schools Regatta which was held at O’Brien’s Bridge, Co Clare on Sunday 23rd April 2017 – an annual fixture on the rowing calendar. Weather conditions were perfect, sunshine and light winds.
This year 70 schools, representing all four provinces of Ireland, battled it out with each crew prepared to represent his/her school with pride and commitment.
A full day’s racing was in store for the participants and spectators alike with the event commencing at 8.00 am. First event of the day for Castletroy College was the women’s J16 2X time trials. Over 24 crews contested this event with the fastest four crews to qualify for the final. Lauren O Brien and Norma Silke represented the school in this event and qualified as one of the fastest four crews for the final. The final was a hotly contested affair with the girls finishing in a very commendable third position giving them an overall result for the day in this event of third from 24 crews.
Next event of the day for the school was the men’s J16 2x. This event was also a time trial with the fastest four crews qualifying for the final. A total of 20 crews rowed in this event with Rory O Neill and Ben Frohburg in our boat. The boys rowed an excellent race finishing second in their heat but unfortunately it did not qualify them for the final.
Time for the single scull events – here Castletroy College was represented by David Foley Kiely, Ben Frohburg, Daire Scully, Norma Silke and Clara O Brien. David competed in the men’s J14 1X (straight final). He rowed with commitment and finished in a very commendable second place.
Ben contested the men’s J16 1X, another time trial with the fastest four qualifying for the final. Ben rowed a fantastic race finishing third to the ultimate winner.
The regatta was running to schedule when Norma Silke lined up in the women’s J16 1X event – again a time trial with the fastest four progressing to the final. Norma, to the delight of the spectators, qualified for the final where she finished in second position. An excellent result placing her second of twenty four crews in her category.
Clara O Brien was the able representative for the women’s U23 1X event, another time trial with the fastest four progressing to the final. Clara rowed superbly and was unlucky to miss out on a place in the final by the narrowest of margins. However her magnificent performance placed her in fifth position from a field of twenty rowers.
Daire Scully was the representative for the school in the men’s J15 1X however due to technical difficulties with his boat he had to withdraw from the event.
The women’s J14 2X was contested for the school by Clara Leahy and Jane O Brien – straight final. The girls rowed with determination and crossed the line in first place, a medal for their efforts. Well done.
A new combination saw Daire Scully and David Foley Kiely line up for the men’s J15 2X, straight finals. Well done to this combination, they crossed the line in first position in their event, another medal for the school.
The men’s U23 2X event is always keenly anticipated. This year a total of 29 crews were in contention with Castletroy represented by James Desmond and James Quinlan. This event was a time trial with the fastest four progressing to the final. The two James’ did not disappoint and qualified for the final which they ultimately won – Another medal for the school.
The quads events for the school were the women’s J14 4x+, women’s J15 4x+ and men’s U23 4X.
The crew of Jane O’Brien, Ciara Kelly, Clara Leahy, Gabriella Fitzgerald and cox Lauren O Brien took to the water for women’s J15 4X+, straight final. The girls rowed well and finished second in their event.
Amber Gleeson, Jenna Reeves, Gabriella Fitzgerald, Kerrie Carey and Jane O’Brien contested the straight final event of Women’s J14 4X+ finishing in third place in their event.
The men’s U23 4x event is always a very competitive category and this year was no exception with a total of 11 crews in contention for the ultimate first place podium finish. The crew for the school in this event was James Desmond, Rory O Neill, James Quinlan and Pa Silke. First over the line in the heats qualified for the final. The boys rowed a superb race, winning their heat and qualifying for the final.
Expectations were high that they would be successful in the final and they did not disappoint crossing the finishing line in first place to the delight of spectators. A fourth medal for the school.
A great day’s rowing was had by all, with four wins and many close calls. To the credit of all concerned Castletroy was placed 4th best school over the days racing, the ultimate price for the Victor Ludorum trophy. Castleconnell Boat Club would like to acknowledge the support of Castletroy College in the promotion of rowing in the school and look forward to many more years of pleasant days by the river at the Rowing Ireland Schools regatta.
President Castleconnell Boat Club