Athlone Boat Club proudly represented at National Rowing Championships

Despite inclement conditions proving prevalent, Athlone Boat Club boasted a large representation of women’s crews at the National Rowing Championships in Cork.

Wind and rain stalled the start of the day's rowing and racing was assessed and monitored throughout the course of the competition due to the bad weather.

The club entered 2 x j16 quadruple sculls, 3 x j16 double sculls and 4 x j16 single sculls, while completing their entry at J16 level was the junior women’s 16 8+ crew. This year also saw entries in a J18 coxless quad, j18 double scull and a single sculler .

Sarah Rockett and Anna O Grady put in the performance of the weekend to outclass the entire junior 16 double scull field. They progressed through a gruelling time trial process to secure the fastest qualifying time for the highly contested six boat final and secured a deserved first place podium finish.

The club are extremely proud of these two girls who are aiming to put their mark on Irish junior women's rowing, hopefully following in the footsteps of their male counterparts with future selection for junior Irish squads a definite target for them.

The club's junior women’s 16 8 crew qualified for the final of their race, but were edged out of the medals with a fourth place finish in a very competitive final. Well done to J16 8 - Sarah Rockett, Anna O Grady, Riona Cunningham, Ella Colsh, Cara Egan, Sophie Reynolds, Isabella Harrington, Andrea Doran, Jesse Bolger and cox Aisling Flanagan.

Sarah Rockett ensured a remarkable display of single sculling as she won her heat in some of the most challenging rowing conditions in a very dominant fashion. This secured her a spot in the junior 16 1x final where she finished just outside the medals in fourth position out of 40 single scullers. This was an excellent result considering Sarah was competing as a junior 15 and will have the opportunity to contest this event in 2024.

Aoife Hensey led the way for the clubs j18 entries taking part in the junior 18 single sculls double sculls and in a j18 coxless quad.

“On behalf of the club we would like to wish Aoife well and thank her for her commitment, hard work and dedication to Athlone Boat Club during her time with the club," Club PRO, Padraig Hegarty, commented, post event.

The junior men also represented Athlone at the National Championships. Competing in time trials in sculls, double sculls and quadruple sculls, all athletes performed admirably with some producing exceptional times in their respective events.

In the Junior 16 sculling event, Aidan Molloy won his time trial heat, but unfortunately his time was not fast enough to earn him a place in the final. In the Junior 18 sculling event, Rian Claffey had an exceptional row in a strong head wind, winning his time trial heat, which placed him in third position overall, sending him comfortably into the six boat final.

In the final, the wind changed dramatically which favoured the lighter oarsmen and Rian was narrowly pipped for a podium position. This was a fantastic performance by Rian who was recently selected to represent his country at the the Coupe de La Jeunesse in Amsterdam.

This junior squad, all of whom are eligible to compete at Junior 18 again next year, gained valuable racing experience at the National Championships. Well done to Oisin Dolan, Rian Claffey, James Heaslip, Eoin Kane, Liam Rowan, Edward Cleary, Killian Collier, Adam Kenny, Aidan Molloy and George Whitarjans.

Club Captain Paul Donovan congratulated former club rowers, Donagh Claffey and Martin O'Grady, who had a very successful Championships competing for Galway University. They won the intermediate double and were in the intermediate 8 and Senior 4x- that also achieved victory.

Paul would like to thank all parents, coaches and volunteers who continuously strive to move the club forward. As the season draws to an end the club looks forward to a much needed rest with much optimism for next season.


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