After a busy domestic rowing season six Bann Rowing Club members were selected to row for Ireland.
This in itself is a great achievement given the rigorous selection procedure that athletes have to go through.
Aaron Christie, Alana O’Donovan, Katie Shirlow and Dineka Maguire represented Ireland in Cardiff at the Home International Regatta on the 23rd July.
Aaron rowed in the junior mens coxed four and eight. He was unlucky in the coxed four who were beaten into second place by England after a very hard fought race. Aaron then took his place in the eight, which finished third.
Alana rowed in the junior womens double scull. Again this was a very competitive race which resulted with Alana and her doubles partner finishing second.
Katie and Dineka rowed in the senior team and finished third in the pairs race. They then teamed up with other rowers from Trinity College and University College Cork to race in the womens senior eight. The Irish eight quickly built up a lead and despite being chased down by Scotland, held on to win. Katie and Dineka are the first girls from Bann Rowing Club to compete at senior level for Ireland and everyone is delighted and proud that they won gold medals.
Hannah Scott and Fiona Chestnutt were selected to row at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Poland on the 30th and 31st July. In the heat Ireland finished second behind a strong English crew. Later in the afternoon they lined up against Italy, England, Switzerland, Hungary and Austria. Italy established an early lead and held on to win. The other four crews battled it out for silver and bronze which resulted in an exciting finish with only 1.5 seconds separating the rest of the crews. On this occasion the Irish crew finished fifth.
Looking for revenge the Irish girls were determined to do better on the Sunday. They qualified comfortably for the final which proved to be another exciting race with England taking an early lead from Switzerland, Hungary and Ireland. Coming into the final 200 metres the Swiss pushed hard to take over England. The Irish crew also pushed on to break clear of Hungary and in doing so moved up on England. However the English held on to 2nd place and Ireland finished third. This was a great result for the girls winning bronze medals in such a competitive competition. This was one of only two medals won by the Irish team at the Coupe.
Club Captain Keith Leighton and Coach Geoff Bones were delighted that six club members were selected to represent Ireland and even more delighted that they came home with medals. This shows the potential and talent in the Club and it all bodes well for the future of Bann Rowing Club.