Fingal Rowing Club Season 2018
We are very proud of our club having only been founded in 2016 we have gone form strength to strength. Fingal Rowing Club is a small but ambitious club, with a focus on competitive rowing. We represented north County Dublin in many events this year, most notably the All Ireland Championships, Lambay Rowing Challenge and Castle to Crane.
Novice Ladies A
In 2017, three of our crew discovered rowing and were quickly hooked to the sport! We were only in the club 2.5 weeks when we were literally thrown in at the deep end to compete as the regatta season had just kicked off!
Although coming 2nd last in our first regatta in Skerries we really enjoyed the whole buzz and thrill of the race and we were just delighted we didn’t come last or need to be towed back in to the finish line! At each regatta after that we tried to improve but we never actually got to place in the top 3.
In 2018 we found the 4th member of our crew Barbara, some of us moved seats and then with a lot of hard work and determination and under the watchful eye of our coxes Carl Nangle and Peter Donaldson we very quickly started seeing results winning gold in our first regatta in St. Michaels in Dun Laoghaire.
After the initial shock wore off we were completely hooked and the competitiveness well and truly kicked in. We went on to have a super season bringing home 5 gold medals and 2 silver medals for Fingal Rowing Club which resulted in us being overall East Coast Rowing Champions in our race category.
2018 Regattas we competed in were:
- St. Michaels Regatta 1st Place
- Skerries Regatta 1st Place
- St. Patricks Regatta 2nd Place
- Bray Regatta 2nd Place
- Stella Regatta 1st Place
- Greystones Regatta 1st Place
- Wicklow Regatta 1st Place
First crew to race and win gold in the clubs new boat the St. Maur, Greystones August 2018. We also had the pleasure of taking part in some of the long races this year, some as a full crew and others subbing with other crews. The Hope, The Barrow, Dun Laoghaire and The Boyne.
The best achievement so far would have to be competing at the All Ireland’s in Wexford and winning a gold medal! It was the toughest race we’ve competed in and it was also the clubs first time taking part in the All Ireland’s.
Novice Ladies B
The Novice Ladies B team was formed in July 2018 so we are most definitely the newbies of the club! In fact we were so new that the place names and the phrases used for rowing caused us a lot of confusion in the beginning but we weren’t long picking up what we were supposed to do. We were so impressed with the warm welcome we received from everybody and it reiterated that our decision to join the club was the right one.
From our very first night trying out rowing, we were completely hooked. The weather helped greatly and we were so keen to get out on the water that 3 nights a week training was never an issue.
Between holidays and other commitments it took us a few months to find our sea legs and to confirm our team. With just 1 week before the HOPE row, Karen joined us. As Karen is a keen Kayaker, we knew she’d fit right in. The HOPE row was brilliant and a great introduction how the racing days actually work.
Unfortunately, we never got to take part in the Regattas or the Lambay challenge this year but 2019 we’re coming to get you and watch out Novice A 😉
Last year, 2017, we came 2nd overall in the East Coast Rowing Council (ECRC) Inter Ladies category and had the
choice for 2018 of staying in this division or moving up to Junior Ladies. We decided to move up, both were
hard routes, but we felt Junior ladies was the tougher challenge and it is good for the club to have a
team in the Junior category.
Our goal for the year was to get one medal in this category. This came about quickly and we got silver in the 2nd regatta of the season, in Skerries. We were ecstatic, our goal changed, could we get an East Coast medal?? This didn’t pan out in next couple of regattas, coming a disappointing 5th and 4th and then 4th again. We were still
only a point behind the 3rd place, St. Michaels of Dunlaoighre, with 2 regattas to go, so it was still worth fighting for. We had to beat St. Michaels in the next two regattas. This did pan out!
Timing was everything and for several months we had been building our own boat, St Maur and she was finally ready and we did her proud, or she did us proud. Junior Ladies came 3rd in each race, (behind the impressive St. Patricks and Wicklow crews) securing us 3rd place overall in the East Coast Rowing Council Junior Ladies Championship!
Not bad for a crew, 3 of whom are only in their 2nd year of competitive rowing. There is still more to be done in Junior Ladies, so 2019 here we come!
Every tried doing dead lifts on a moving object. If not and you want to give it a go then try skiff rowing. If you want to punch through stiff chop for twenty minutes to get to get the reward of a long surf home or cut a furious wake across glassy still water at sunset then try skiff rowing. The endorphin hit and the calorie burn is worth it. This is a sport that will give you vastly different experiences on two consecutive days.
The four of us Ciaran, Alan, Andy and myself (Tom) in the novice men’s boat started rowing in May. None of us had rowed competitively ever before. Fingal Rowing Club is competitive and it became clear that to gather kudos in the club you have to develop your skills and gel as a team quickly. The season started quickly for us with our first race in DunLaoighre a few weeks after we first got into the boat. An intense first experience. The second time that we were out (the first time as a full team in a competitive race) we medalled (Bronze). That was in Skerries. Because we medalled we have been busted up to the next level so there is a vacancy for a new novice team.
As Ciaran says ”Our season went well although only placing third once in Skerries regatta, was a fantastic achievement for the crew and the club. At our very first year we placed with little to no experience in an east coast rowing skiff.” True enough. Any success that we have managed as a team has been down to the commitment of its members but also significantly to the generosity of fellow club members who have given us time (and patience) to teach us the art of rowing and create rowing junkies out of all of us. That time and generosity is greatly appreciated.
We have had injury trouble which has meant that we have not been able to race competitively together as a unit as much as we would have liked. However, we have done a few long distance races: the Hope on the Liffey out to Poolbeg lighthouse with Paul from the Inter men’s team and the Barrow with Rachel and Carol from the Junior Ladies Team.
Ciaran took part in the soon to be iconic Lambay Challenge with Paul, Hugh, Brian and Podge from Inter men’s. We would also say thanks to our various coxes: Anne Marie, Tomas, Karl and Peter who had the task of taking us out tentative onto the water for our first training sessions.
Thanks to Chris who coxed us on the Barrow and has rowed with us in a n umber of races. Sadly we had to say farewell to Alan who is now rowing an Arab dhow up and down the coast of Abu Dhabi. A good winter season training schedule is shaping up for us now with the Celtic Challenge in May next year in sight: Arklow to Aberystwyth here we come!!!!
Having risen to great heights in 2017 winning the overall ECRC Novice Championship and overcoming all the odds as a new crew it was time to enter the big leagues. The Novice race for men is 1.4K and with the step up to Intermediate level the race distance doubled to 2.8k for 2018. This set the scene for a very tough season finishing 4th as our best placement. But we will be back next year with our sights set on gold.
We took part in the Lambay Rowing Challenge a 19k long distance rowing event which circumnavigates the local island. We are very much looking forward to taking part in the festival next year. For more information see Lambay Rowing Challenge 2019.
The Mixed Crew really ‘HIT IT UP’ this season, finishing off with a number of medals at the end. We won our 1 st Gold medal at our 1 st race of the season which was exhilarating and exciting. This of course made our competitors sit up and notice us which then made every race after that very competitive and nerve racking.
Almost always either ‘pipping’ our competitors at the finishing line for a medal or losing out to a medal place because we were ‘pipped’ at the finishing line. This was a highly competitive division.
We finished off the season with a total of 5 medals out of 7 regatta’s:
1 x Gold medal
1 x Silver medal
3 x Bronze medals
Placing our Mixed Crew in 3rd place overall in the East Coast Rowing Champions. Another great achievement for our Mixed crew (and the Club) was competing in the All Ireland Championships down in Wexford in blustering winds and coming in 3 rd place.
Our Mixed crew took part in one of the long distance races which our club hosted at the Rush Sailing Club. The Lambay Challenge, rowing from the Rush Sailing club around Lambay Island and back to club, a total of 19km. We manage to complete this challenge in 2hours 5mins without stopping and without losing a crew member. We had a great season with some great weather conditions.
All Ireland Championship Medals 2018 – Skiff Rowing
Novice Ladies Crew – Gold
Ladies Crew – Bronze
Mixed Crew – Bronze
We are all looking forward to a really competitive and fun packed season in 2019. If you are looking at getting involved in the sport check out our Facebook page for information on open days and social events.