A record 503 crews – more than 1000 athletes from 36 clubs – gathered on the Shannon this weekend for the annual St Michael’s Head of the river Race at O’Brien’s Bridge in Clare.
In excellent weather conditions there were events to suit all categories of Irish rowers, male and female, senior, intermediate, junior and underage and a great tribute to the St Michael’s club and their hard working officials that everything went according to plan
in over 7 hours of nonstop rowing competitions.
It was a very good day for the Killorglin club in the Ladies competitions as Monika Dukarska achieved a magnificent 13m :16s over the 3.2 km course finishing more than 24 seconds ahead of her nearest rival,to take the Women’s Senior Single Sculls title.. That form will give her considerable encouragement for the Irish nationals two weeks hence.
Killorglin also took the Women’s Junior 15 event when their team consisting of Emma Murphy, Zoe Hyde, Ali O’Sullivan and Kerri Fay, coxed by Katie Fay, came home first in 13m20s
N.U.I.G’s intermediate eight swept all before them producing two almost identical rows in 9m 58s and 9m 59s. St Michael’s clocked 10m:07s in the Senior Eights finishing ahead of their composite local rivals Castleconnell, Garda and University of Limerick who came home in 10:08.
Dublin crews did not go home empty handed with Trinity’s women’s Senior Eight taking their class win ahead of some of the men’s intermediate eight. UCD’s Dave Neale was fastest man.
There was also an impressive performance in the Junior 18 grade where Fermoy’s Hilary Shinnick, not yet 17, finished first in 13mins and 38 seconds. continue to impress.
Founded in 1901, the St Michael’s Rowing Club is one of Ireland’s Premier Rowing Clubs. It caters for oarsmen and oarswomen from Junior 12 to the more experienced “Masters”, some of whom are 60+ years young !
During the past three decades it has established itself as one of the major forces in Irish rowing by winning no less than 37 Championships at all grades from Junior to Senior. The long 106 year wait came to an end in 2007 when the Club won the coveted Senior VIII “Big Pot” being the first crew to bring the trophy to Limerick in 80 years.
It has had 197 of its members selected for International representation. Members have won 3 World Championships and have rowed at three Olympic Regattas. Unlike certain other successful Irish Rowing clubs, almost all its oarsmen and women are “home-grown” having commenced with the Club as Juniors.
St Michael’s Rowing Club is part of St Michael’s Sporting Club which also has snooker facilities in the Cecil Street premises, which are located just below the General Post Office in Limerick City.