#COASTAL ROWING: The All Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships will take place on Lough Currane, Waterville, Co Kerry, this weekend. About 2,700 rowers will descent on the picturesque village of Waterville, which lies on the Iveragh Peninsula, with 530 crews competing for a medal and a trophy. The action starts today (Friday) at 4pm.
The Kerry Coastal Rowing Association hosts the event. There are over 20 coastal rowing clubs, involved in organising the extensive programme of rowing and entertainment. There are a 25 categories of rowing, from the Under 12s to Master/Veteran.
Mary B Teahan, the PRO of the Irish Coastal Rowing Federation, said: “This regatta is the biggest regatta in the country and promises to be full of passion, pride and fantastic competition, where the best in the country will come to take on the might of each other. It’s a celebration of rowing. Crews from Donegal, Antrim, Belfast, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Cork, and Kerry, will battle it out on the water and be assured of best of Kerry craic during the event. It’s also a showcase of what this part of the Iveragh Peninsula has to offer, in terms of tourism and promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way ... it ticks all the boxes.”
The event begins with a blessing of the boats, today at 4pm … Then the real rowing action begins.
Teahan said: “The opening ceremony promises to be a taste of Kerry. a lot of effort and time been put in to prepare for this prestigious event with the coastal rowing clubs, fund raising throughout the winter. The board has driven the preparations forward with the local rowing clubs and GAA in Waterville all helping out for the weekend. There is nightly entertainment in the green in the village with an array of bands and music and our nominated charity kindly stewarding.”
The event charity is Recovery Haven cancer services.
Forty heats will be rowed on Saturday. The finals take place on Sunday. The organisers say the atmosphere will be like Croke Park on All-Ireland final day: club colours worn with pride, club support out in force, the intense rivalry, the referee’s decision, the photo finish, the factions, club picnics, and maybe the old splash of rain!
The type of boat used in the Coastal Rowing Championships is called a ‘One Design’ – a fibre glass boat, fixed seat, a crew of four and cox. Another fine showcase to watch out for is The Seine boat crews of Mid and South Kerry where a 12-man crew, with a cox, races 18 kilometres.