Rowing Ireland to set up coastal division
Move establishes Rowing Ireland as competitor to Irish Coastal Rowing Federation
Under-12 girls from Kilmacabea rowing club, Co Cork. Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan
Rowing Ireland is to set up a coastal division. Twenty clubs that offer coastal rowing have requested the move, and the board of Rowing Ireland unanimously agreed to it.
Rowing Ireland, which oversees Olympic-class rowing, already runs an Offshore Championships for boats that can compete in the Fisa World Coastal Championships, but this is a new move and will involve the fixed-seat boats that compete in coastal events around the country. There will be a new Irish Coastal Rowing Championships in 2018.
The move in effect establishes Rowing Ireland as a competitor to the present Irish Coastal Rowing Federation. ICRF spokeswoman Mary B Teehan told The Irish Times that the federation had not been informed of the move. “I haven’t been told anything about that. But we are a separate organisation.”
Teehan said that 89 clubs were affiliated to the ICRF, and that the numbers involved were still well short of that.
The organisers of the new division believe that 2,000 rowers will initially come on board. However, individual members of the clubs will not be affiliated to Rowing Ireland. They will not be on the comprehensive tracker system that holds data on Olympic-class rowers.
Hamish Adams, the chief executive of Rowing Ireland, said offshore rowing had been successfully integrated into Rowing Ireland.
“We believe that adding coastal rowing is a very positive step to expand our product offering, and will permit Rowing Ireland to recruit members and develop rowing where river rowing is not possible.”
Kieran Kerr will be the chairman of the new Coastal Rowing Committee. He said the new coastal division would be club-driven. “It will endeavour to raise the standard of coastal rowing through the provision of coach education and all the other services which Rowing Ireland provides.”
There will be a meeting on November 26th in Portlaoise, Co Laois, for delegates from coastal clubs who are interested in the new move.