The Dublin Metropolitan Regatta was held at Blessington Lakes on May 17th 2014. In the week prior to the Regatta the garda squad travelled to New Ross for a training camp. Assisted by John Diamond of New Ross Boat Club they managed to undertake some strenuous training and accumulate significant mileage under the watchful eye of coaches Willie Ryan and Gerry Conway.
The women’s crew were also assisted by their new up and coming cox David Drennan. Drennan was not afraid to whip his crew into shape and the rewards showed when they travelled to Dublin Metropolitian Regatta the following week.
The weather conditions, although dry and bright, were not favourable to rowing. The first 1000m of the course was very blustery with a signifigant advantage to the crews in lane one after the 1000m marker.
The women’s club 2 4+, (Janet Walsh, Fiona Connaughton, Marta Coyne, Mary Moore, Cox- Gavin Connelly) were first up in their heat. They performed well in their heat and managed to secure a place in the A final and went on to win their event. This is the first regatta win for the women’s crew this year and was a sign of what was to come for the rest of the day.
Olive Holden has been unlucky for a number of recent regattas and has been knocking on the door to success. Her hard work paid off for her in the Club 1 1x. She cruised to an easy victory in her heat which put her into the A Final. Her early morning sessions at Blessington proved to work for her as she claimed her first victory of the year in the 1x when she secured victory in her section of the A final.
In the evening, the Men’s 2x were disqualified due to a timing issue and the responsibility rested firmly on the shoulders of the Women’s Club 2 8+ who were taking to the water at the same time. The winning stern four from earlier were backed up by bow four of Sheila Kenny, Jackie Ryan, Marie Geraghty and Liza Galvin. They showed guts as they came from ¾ length down off the start to row through their opposition and secure their position in the A Final. Again in the final, they were down off the start and had to dig deep to their diesel engine in the middle 1000m to stride past their opposition of UCD and others. They went on to win the final and secure another maiden victory.
A solid four weeks training is now in progress for all crews ahead of Athlone Regatta on June 14th, where the Garda Club seek to secure more silverware.
By Damien Kelly, Photos by Mirel Basic