The girls J16 eight had a tremendous season and were clear favourites in advance of the championships having been unbeaten all season. Again they did not disappoint although they did have to fight off a spirited challenge from Portora to take the title by one length. The winning crew was Ciara Walsh, Holly McHugh, Carley Mannion, Roisin Gavin, Rachel O’Malley-Raecke, Elise Carney-Frazier, Ruby Murphy, Caoileann McDonagh and Aoibhinn McPhillips (cox). That win capped off a really great year for this highly talented crew which benefited greatly from having a very large squad – seven races entered and seven clear victories.
The girls J15 eight was a new event at the championships this year and with three of the girls from the J16 crew and many other younger rowers, the Jes was well positioned to make a strong challenge for the win. It turned out to be a very comfortable victory for the Jes eight showing that the club has great strength in depth in this category. The winning crew was Ellen Forde, Anna Coyne, Katie Ryan, Roisin Gavin, Ruth Griffin, Elise-Carney Frazier, Ruby Murphy, Isabelle Gannon and Holly McHugh (cox).
In the girls J16 single scull at the championships, Caoileann NicDhonncha was involved in a great final with a rower from Fermoy and was only just edged into second place in the last 100m. The standard of sculling was very high and Caoileann’s time in the final would have given her third place in the J18 scull. Thus Caoileann can reflect on a great season that brought several victories and has seen her develop as a very talented sculler. The boys J16 scull also brought success for the Jes. Mark Ryder has performed extremely well all season but came up against Jack Keating from Carlow who has dominated J16 sculling all season long. In the final, Mark secured a silver medal winning performance having pushed Jack Keating all the way in the final. It is clear that Mark also has a bright future in sculling.
Elsewhere at the championships, there were many other very good Jes performances. In the boys, J18 eight, the very young Jes crew came 2nd in their heat and then came 4th in the final – a result that shows very good progress for them over the year. The J18 four and club four, featuring many of the same rowers, just missed out in making their finals by narrow margins. In the girls J16 coxed quad, the Jes crew comfortably made the final but did not feature in the medals. There were some impressive displays from our 1st year rowers and while there were no wins, there were several 3rd and 4th place finishes for these you crews.
Some of the additional highlights from other regattas included:
- There was an outstanding performance from the club at the Galway regatta. On an incredibly wet day in June, the Jes recorded a total of eleven victories and were easily the top performing club at the regatta.
- The Irish Schools regatta in April brought four wins for Jes crews.
- Fifteen of the younger 1st and 2nd year rowers went to the Fermoy regatta and recorded five wins.
- Caoileann NicDhonncha’s achievements were recognised by her selection for the Irish junior team for the Home Internationals held in Cardiff in July.
Another major event for the club this year was the purchase of a new boat – an eight. This represented a significant investment and the club is appreciative of all who supported this purchase including the Jesuit order. The new eight has been named “John Humphreys SJ” after Fr John Humphreys SJ the former rector of St Ignatius Galway and chairman of the Board Of Management of Coláiste Iognáid.
Check out the Jes Rowing Club website at http://www.circ.ie for more information on training and events.