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Dun Laoghaire Harbour's St. Michael's Rowing Club 'Ergs' Its Way Through the Lockdown

27th January 2021
St Michael's Coastal Rower Martin Dowd prepares for a session on his Concept 2 rowing machine at home St Michael's Coastal Rower Martin Dowd prepares for a session on his Concept 2 rowing machine at home

A beautiful quote from 'The Wind in the Willows' says that 'there is nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." Does that apply to rowing imaginary boats as well? St. Michael's Rowing Club of Dun Laoghaire Harbour thinks so writes the club's Simone Sav

Rowing on erg machines may seem artificial at times to those of us accustomed to the sharp wintery sea breeze, the team effort and the dynamic of rowing wooden skiffs or off-shore boats on the Irish sea. But, given the current COVID-19 context, this is the most respectful and considerate activity our rowing club, St. Michaels' of Dun Laoghaire, can engage with.

Caitriona Gallagher and Simone SavCaitriona Gallagher and Simone Sav

We are delighted to have had 10 rowers compete in the National Indoor Rowing Championships on Saturday, the 23rd of January 2021. Five women and five men (Aoife Byrne, Catriona Gallagher, Colm Crilly, David Cullen, Gareth Wittington, Ger Ryan, Martin Dowd, Nicola Fitzgerald, Samatha Nagle, Simone Sav) competed in 11 races and won four medals, along with Personal Best results. This is the fifth major competition that our members engage in within the last four months on national and international level (3rd of October, 24th of October, 21st November 2020 - for national competitions and 5th December 2020 for the British Indoor Rowing Competitions), with 11 medals won overall. Special mention to Niall O'Toole and his online training sessions many of us follow on a weekly basis.

Gareth Whittington and Nicola FitzgeraldGareth Whittington and Nicola Fitzgerald

As an amateur rower, it takes courage to compete against established athletes. Those minutes before the start of a race, when one has to find its breath, remember their strategy, and retain their self-confidence are always tough. But we are delighted, that, somehow, we do. Consistently. Stubbornly so.

Ger RyanGer Ryan

Hilary Lovejoy, Club Chairperson, says: 'Our club, along with many other rowing clubs, has to face the challenge of remaining meaningful to its members when normal activities cannot take place. And with good reason. Staying safe, at home, is a solution recommended by the Government to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which we embrace and uphold. We are delighted that so many of our members signed up for this national competition.'

Aoife ByrneAoife Byrne

'We are a coastal rowing club,' says Gary Byrne, Club Captain. 'In normal circumstances, we would offer winter rowing to our members, which is not possible now, due to the pandemic context. We look forward to being back on the water as allowed by the Government but in the meanwhile, we are delighted with our members' results in the Indoor Championships. Fantastic results and congratulations to all participants.'

Sam NagleSam Nagle

Besides participating in the Indoor Rowing Championships, St. Michael's RC, Dun Laoghaire, will also get involved in providing training sessions on how to read the weather in Dublin Bay for its members in February.

Published in Coastal Rowing
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