Athlone Boat Club proudly return to competitive action at recent Limerick regattas

The Athlone Boat Club WJ14 4X+ team who were winners at the Limerick regatta this past weekend.  Pictured, l-r, Felicity Heaslip; Laoise Claffey; Aoife Keane (cox); Muireann Kenny; Lauren Cunningham

The Athlone Boat Club WJ14 4X+ team who were winners at the Limerick regatta this past weekend. Pictured, l-r, Felicity Heaslip; Laoise Claffey; Aoife Keane (cox); Muireann Kenny; Lauren Cunningham

Athlone Boat Club returned to competitive action this past weekend at both the Limerick Regatta and Limerick Schools Regatta.

As always the club were represented in high numbers, with entries at all junior levels competing and proudly representing the town. The number of junior rowers at the club is ever increasing and this racing season promises to be a positive one for the club with long months of hard training, both indoor and outdoor, over the winter months hoping to bear fruition in the coming times.

The club had a large number of rowers and crews participating on Saturday, but the sole winning crew was that of the WJ14 4x+ who had a comprehensive victory in the final achieving the win by clear water as they defeated Presentation Kilkenny, Athlone Community College and CRCC from Cork. The club had a number of standout performances on the Saturday and all rowers can be very proud of their performances on the day.

Two Marist under 23 doubles; Marist A, Rian Claffey, Zach Meegan and Marist B: Oisín Dolan, Adam Kenny, were first to represent at the schools regatta on Sunday. The two crews were drawn in the same heat in lanes two and one respectively with Ard Scoil Limerick and Gaelcholaiste Limerick.

Marist B were to the rowing fore from the start but began to slow towards the 600 metre mark where Marist A passed them for the lead of the race and went on to win in a time of 4:54.9 to complete a Marist first and second finish.

Both Marist crews made the cut for the final with times good enough for first and third seeding. Both crews improved in the final and in the end it was Marist A that took the win from St Brendans A (second ), Marist B (third ), and St Brendans B (fourth ).

The Marist under 23 coxless quad (Adam Kenny (Bow ), Rian Claffey (2 ), Richard Heaslip (3 ), and Zach Meegan (Stroke ) headed out for their heat against St Brendans B, Colaiste Iognaid, and CBS New Ross. The boys in blue finished strong, setting down a firm benchmark to win by over 40 seconds in front of the second place crew, St Brendans B, with a time of 4:34.0.

In the final they lined up beside the favourites and highly rated Ard Scoil from Limerick, while St Brendans A and B rounded off the field. The Marist boys were to the fore right from the buzzer and were locked in an exhilarating battle with the favourites for the lead. Ard Scoil made an attempt to claw their way passed the Marist crew at the 750 metre mark, but the Marist were unfazed and only pulled even more metres on them as they took the finish line with three seconds between them and the favourites to be crowned schools under 23 quad champions 2024.

On Sunday the Bower girls were too powerful for the opposition finishing 13 secs ahead of Presentation Kilkenny in second and local rivals Athlone Community College further back in third, with CRCC in fourth. This is a fabulous achievement for the Bower girls considering three of the crew, Felicity, Laoise and Muireann are WJ13 and underage again next year.

Four of the crew, Felicity, Laoise, Muireann and cox Aoife Keane were in the winning WJ14 crew with Lauren Cunningham the day before at the Limerick regatta, defeating St Joseph’s from Galway, Shannon from Limerick and Offaly. This is their first regatta of the season and bodes well for the season. Earlier in the year at the national indoor championships the girls demonstrated their power by dominating the WJ13 indoor events.

Finally, Sarah Rockett who came out on top of the 24 Junior 16 single scullers over the weekend. The highly competitive field was narrowed down with six heats of time trials with the fastest four scullers progressing to the final . The final saw Sarah executed an excellent race and led from the start to secure the win.


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