Rowing: Heads of the river offer competitive action for crews

Total of 21 eights entered in Dublin event on Saturday

It might tempt fate to say so, but Irish rowers have had some good weather over the last few months as they settled into training programmes for the season ahead.

Indeed, one of the features of the autumn was the low water levels at Blessington and the National Rowing Centre in Cork.

The next consideration is to get some competitive action for crews. Three heads of the river over the next two weeks fill the bill.

Dublin Head on Saturday will be run over a slightly shorter-than-usual course of about a mile and a half from O'Connell Bridge to the Trinity weir. There are 21 eights entered. These include some late entrants who will test themselves on a timing-only basis.


The three men's senior eights entered offer real quality: two from Irish champions Commercial join one from UCD.

Galway raiders Coláiste Iognáid join Neptune and Commercial in the women’s junior eights, while Neptune take on two crews from Coláiste Iognáid in the men’s junior 18 competition.

Skibbereen and Bann will stage their heads at the National Rowing Centre and in Coleraine next Saturday, November 17th.

The Cork event is the bigger, but the rise in quality and quantity of young Irish rowers is well reflected in the Bann entry.

The six entrants in the women's intermediate single include Katie Shirlow of Bann and Molly Curry of Coleraine Grammar School, who claimed medals for Ireland this year at, respectively, the Home International and Coupe de la Jeunesse regattas.

Young talent also came to the fore at the time time for the Cork Sculling Ladder last weekend. Aoife Lynch of Lee was the women's winner, while Eoin Gaffney of Shandon took the men's tankard.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in rowing