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Displaying items by tag: Irish Offshore Rowing Championships

Coastal rowing is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with Ireland at the forefront — and this showed in the competitive atmosphere at the Irish Offshore Rowing Championships, writes David Hussey.

Portmagee Rowing Club El Nino in South Kerry hosted the event on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September. Usually a single-day affair, the senior A-grade races were spread out over the weekend to abide by current public health guidelines.

Heats were needed in most events, with the highlight on Saturday being the women’s quad final — featuring a packed field of 12 boats on the starting line.

Boats lined up on the Portmagee slip at the 2020 Irish Offshore Rowing ChampionshipsBoats lined up on the Portmagee slip at the 2020 Irish Offshore Rowing Championships

As previously reported on, reigning champions Killorglin — featuring Olympic rower Monika Dukarska — made it three in a row in this event, and then two of the crew went on to win the doubles contest.

The mixed doubles also was an intense battle with a novel pairing of Kealan Mannix and his sister Alyssa taking the gold for Rosscarbery.

On Sunday, the standout performances came from the Myross/Castletownshend composite in the quad. Stung by last year's defeat due to a poor start, the Cork crew spent 12 months waiting to avenge their loss. They exploded off the start line and established an early lead which they held all the ways around the course.

The men’s single featured an intense battle between John Harrington from the Galley Flash club and Kealan Mannix of Rosscarbery. Kealan did just enough in the last part of the race to forge ahead and claim a second gold.

Aerial view of Portmagee in South Kerry which hosted the Irish Offshore Rowing Championships this past weekendAerial view of Portmagee in South Kerry which hosted the Irish Offshore Rowing Championships this past weekend

Monika Dukarska dominated the women’s solo with an explosive start, and Donegal Bay came from behind to record a famous victory in the men’s doubles.

Running any sports event in these times can be very challenging due to the coronavirus guidelines. The athletes have to compete in an isolated environment to keep them safe, and while 100 spectators are allowed at this present time, the club felt it best to ask that no patrons attend this event.

Portmagee Rowing Club El Nino wish to thank all the voluntary help that they received from the community in Portmagee; the fishermen who allowed the club to move their boats and fishing gear to give full use of the slip all weekend; the safety boat crews and boats; the help and support from other traditional rowing clubs in South Kerry; and also all stewards and helpers who freely gave their time.

Templenoe Rowing Club’s 214 boat with Gerard van Deventer coxing, Isobel van Deventer, Corina van Deventer, Heather O’Donoghue and Helen HarveyTemplenoe Rowing Club’s 214 boat with Gerard van Deventer coxing, Isobel van Deventer, Corina van Deventer, Heather O’Donoghue and Helen Harvey

The club would like to thank the members of An Garda Siochana for all their help up to and during the weekend; Kerry County Council for cleaning down the slip; and all the local businesses who supported this regatta.

It is onwards and upwards for our sport and we know that like all sports, we will have to continue to restrict our numbers of competitors and spectators at our events until this pandemic has passed.

To all fellow clubs, Portmagee Rowing Club El Nino gives thanks for attending and making this a superb weekend — and all look forward to next year and competing in the championships in Bantry, Co Cork.

Published in Rowing

Ireland’s men’s quad crew took silver at the 2020 European Rowing Junior Championships in Belgrade this weekend.

Andrew Sheehan, Adam Murphy, Tom Kelly and Brian Colsh finished second in their A Final before claiming silver medals in their final this afternoon (Sunday 27 September).

Ireland’s women’s quad crew were also high achievers, with Holly Davis, Aoife Moloney, Alison Bergin and Molly Curry placing fifth in a very competitive A Final.

Rowing Ireland’s high-performance director Antonio Maurogiovanni said: “I want to congratulate both crews, their coaches John Armstrong and Ciro Prisco and the junior coordinator Fran Keane for the excellent performances at the European Junior Championships.

He added: “Both crews trained very well at the National Rowing Centre, proving that the hard and good work pays off. For this young group of athletes, this European Championship needs to be taken as the first step of a long journey.

“Thank you to all the athletes, coaches, and support staff for hard working in achieving these performances. I would also like to thank the athletes’ parents and club coaches for their continued enthusiasm and support.

“We look forward to continuing the success of the European Junior and U23 championships with the Senior European Championships on 9 October.”

Elsewhere, the Irish Offshore Rowing Championships took place yesterday (Saturday 26 September) in Portmagee, Co Kerry, following a change in venue from Portnoo Beach due to coronavirus restrictions.

The team from Killorglin — featuring two-time world champion and Olympic team member Monika Dukarska and world junior finalist Rhiannon O’Donohue — were the big winners in the women’s quad final.

Killorglin also took the women’s doubles, and Dukarska the women’s solo final, with Kealan Mannix of Rosscarbery winning the men’s solo event.

Donegal Bay were triumphant in the men’s doubles, with Mycross/Castletownshend winning the men’s quad, and Rosscarbery coming first in the mixed doubles final. Full results are available HERE.

Published in Rowing

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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