There were stirring wins and thrilling races as the last set of finals on the second day of the Irish Rowing Championships came to a close. Because of predicted bad weather a full programme and 23 finals were held from 6.30 am till just before midday.
The best was kept till last. The men’s junior 16 eight may not be a championship event, but the race between St Joseph’s of Galway and Enniskillen was a classic. The hunted: St Joseph’s. The hunter: Enniskillen RBC. The Galway club led from before halfway, but their margin was whittled down to nothing as the crews passed the boathouse. Enniskillen pushed into the lead and just held it as St Joseph’s made one last bid to win a race they had led for most of the 2,000 metres. Enniskillen won by 1.2 seconds and celebrated after crossing the line (Pic courtesy of RI live coverage).
The two senior races in this block were good ones – but in contrasting fashions.
Commercial and Cork Boat Club, at opposite sides of the course, fought it out in the senior men’s pair. It was so close it was not obvious which crew had won. Commercial celebrated and got the call.
In the women’s senior quadruple, the University of Limerick/Shannon crew put on such a show of classy sculling they looked like they were in a different race.
An exciting two-boat battle marked out the women’s intermediate pair. Anna Liffey held a marginal lead coming into the last 500 metres. University of Limerick gained on them; Anna Liffey pushed. UL went for it again and led; Anna Liffey came back – it was another finish where those watching had to wait for the official result. Anna Liffey’s Gill Crowe and Hazel O’Neill got it in a photo finish.
Trinity and UCD battled it out in the men’s novice coxed quadruple. Trinity led, but UCD came through as the crews came past the boathouse and won.
There was a better result for Trinity’s women’s club, DULBC, in the women’s novice coxed quadruple. Galway Rowing Club looked set fair for a win through the middle stages. Trinity dug in and came through their opponents as the crowds cheered from the banks.
Skibbereen led down the course in the women’s junior 18 double. Lee and then Shannon tried to gain purchase, but Skibbereen had a clear win.
Athlone came through a difficult moment in the non-Championship women’s junior 16 double to win. They had swept into a strong lead, and took control again after veering across their lane
St Michael’s sculled very well and were rewarded with a big win in the men’s junior 18 quadruple.

Joe Tanner, who had won the lightweight single sculls on Friday and teamed up with Kealan Mannix to win the senior double earlier in the day, showed no diminution of power with a one-man show in the men’s intermediate single sculls. He shot away from the start and built a huge lead. Martin O’Grady from University of Galway tried to push him, but could not catch the University of Limerick man.
Staging a full programme, including these 10 finals and 13 others (see earlier reports) in half a day was some feat.