The Irish Offshore Rowing Championships were held in O’Carrolls Cove. Hosted by Portmagee Rowing Club “El nino” ,the south westerly wind coupled with the strong September equinox tides gave the competitors “once in a lifetime” sea conditions.
The first championship event was the Men’s double. Arklow’s Alan Goodison teamed up with Corkman John Whooley to win in fine style followed by Killorglin’s Andrew Breen and Peter Doyle. Next event, the Women’s quad, brought victory to Kerry. Killorglin teenagers Rhiannion O’Donoghue, Anna Tyther, Eimear O’Donovan and Katie Boyle, coxed by Caherciveen woman Deirdre O’Donoghue, won in fine style followed by last years winners Castletownbere. The Men’s solo saw Irish International Patrick Boomer of Loughros Point RC storm to victory with an awesome display of power and technique in mountainous seas. Former 3 time All Ireland champion Cormac Kelly showed a welcome return to form with a fine second place. Jerry Owen, Fishguard and Goodwick Jemmima, took a superb third. Last event of the day was the Women’s double. Only three crews braved the elements. Arklow women Rachel Ireson and Mary Ann Kent took the honours.
On Sunday first out were the Men’s quad. Myross, coxed by Ciara Deasy, led from the start followed by Castletownbere. Next race ,the Women’s solo, gave the spectators the race of the weekend with positions exchanging throughout the course. Arklow’s Sionna Healy had the lead but was having difficulty locating the last marker in the monster swells. This left the door open for clubmate Xena Jordan to capitalise but Sionna recovered and powered to victory. Killorglin’s Jessica Lee showed superb navigation at the 3rd marker to jump from 5th to 3rd and claim a medal. Last race ,the mixed double, saw Arklow lead from the start. Crack oarsman Alan Goodison teamed up with Andrea Kinsella to storm to victory. Killorglin teenager Rhiannion O’Donoghue teamed up with Portmagee’s David Hussey to take second. Visiting club Jersey took the final medal of the day with Rachel Ireson and Ricky Rouille.