Clonmel rowers competed at the penultimate Head of River race for this season in Galway at the Tribesmen Head of the River race.
There was a large entry from all over the country which is run off as three separate races during the day with specific events allocated to the various races.
The weather was very cold with fog early in the morning leading to a 30 minute start delay but when the fog cleared the rowing conditions were ideal, with no wind or rain and, would you believe, with spells of sunshine.
Clonmel had entries in the Men’s Intermediate single scull, the Junior men’s coxed four, the Junior women’s Double scull, several Junior men scullers, the Junior 16 Men’s double scull, the junior men’s coxless pair and the junior men’s 16 quad scull.
We had high hopes for four of our entries and we succeeded in two of the events, one event the Junior 16 Men’s double was lost through steering difficulties and in the Junior 16 men’s quad, a Galway eight crashed into them causing some damage to the boat.
Intermediate sculler Alan Prendergast won his event as he passed several competitors on the way down the course. Alan looked good and in his new boat got a great win in his first competitive outing in the new boat.
The Junior men’s coxless pair of Alex Chadfield and Ryan McKenna powered down the course with McKenna doing a very good steering job and they won their event. They got a double bonus by beating Alan’s time in the process.
The Junior 16 men’s double of Jake Anderson and Chris Britton hit a buoy and then had to do a hand break turn at the last obstacle causing them to lose at least 30 seconds. In the end they came second by 16 seconds.
The Junior 16 men’s quad of Jake Anderson, Sean Lonergan, Chris Britton and Hugh Kinsella had a great start and on the bend coming into the Menlow strait were passing a junior eight when a Galway masters eight smashed into them, causing some damage and causing the stern to fill with water. This affected their speed and cost them a win.
Clonmel also had a Junior women’s Double scull of Derbhla Hicky and Riona Coyne in the second race and they gave a good account of themselves finishing without any clashes or steering difficulties in their event.
The Junior men’s coxed four of Stewart Channon, Ryan McKenna, Alex Chadfield and Ethan May coxed by Sarah Lonergan did better than expected and with more milage and applying better technique they can do much better.