Queen’s Regatta returns after a year’s absence to the Irish rowing calendar tomorrow on the 1,500 metre Castlewellan course.
The regatta will not be run on a Grand League format. In truth, this may be better for all; the timing requirements for the Grand League were sometimes too much for the university club to handle.
There are a significant number of entries from outside Ulster. Commercial and Carlow boost up the men’s senior eights, where they are set to take on Bann and Portora.
Host club Queen’s have scratched from this event and the intermediate eight. The results at the recent BUCS (British University) regatta were disappointing.
The men's senior single could be a highlight: four Commercial men (Fionnán Groome, Michael Maher, Neil Gahan and Colm Dowling) join Dave Neale, Chris Beck and Sam McKeown in the entry.
McKeown won both the senior and intermediate single sculls at Portadown Regatta and he is one of five rowers from Ulster who have been given £400 (€540) awards by the Mary Peters Trust. The others are Emma Glover, Elizabeth Clarke, Aidan Murray and Philip Doyle.
On the international front, Siobhán McCrohan and Sinéad Jennings are set to race on May 16th or 17th to land a spot as the Ireland lightweight single sculler for the European Championships on May 29th to 31st.
Ireland will send a junior men’s quadruple and double to Racice in the Czech Republic for the European Junior Championships on May 23rd/ 24th. The announcement has been followed quickly by a fundraising drive on gofundme.com.
The quad combination of Colm Hennessey, Eoghan Whittle, Patrick Munnelly and Andrew Goff did well to claim gold at last year's Coupe de la Jeunesse, a European junior tournament, and will again represent Ireland in the Coupe this season.
The double of Shane O'Connell and Ronan Byrne did well in recent testing.