The Boat Club travelled to Coleraine on Saturday 11th November for the first race of the season: Bann Head of the River. With the season only two months deep, it offered the perfect opportunity to field a number of mixed crews with many of the club’s newest recruits getting a taste of racing for the first time.
First down the 3500m course was the boy’s Junior 18 eight. Made up largely from last years Junior 16 eight and new comers James Green and Paul McCaffrey, the crew raced to 5th place overall. Next down the course was Ross Corrigan and Aaron Johnston in the boys Junior 18 pair, taking the victory in their event over teammates Conor McLaughlin and Sean O’Hare-Smith, while the boy’s Junior 15 raced strongly to complete what was for many their first race for the club since joining in September.
On the girl’s side, the girl’s Junior 18 coxless quad added to the boy’s success beating their closest rivals from Belfast Rowing Club by 7 seconds, while Mia-Jayne Elliot and Zoe McCutcheon beat teammates Miriam Kelly and Aine McCreesh by 15 seconds in the girl’s Junior 18 pairs. Last down the course for race one was the highly anticipated girl’s Junior 16 eights with two entries from the boat club. Both crews, made up largely of girl’s in their second month of rowing, were evenly matched down the course as the crew of Kayleigh Bradley-West, Lana Bothwell, Maeve Donnelly, Katie Elliott, Sasha Moore, Nikki Kernaghan, Adrianna Hurst, Alice Parkinson and coxed by Sarah Dolan claimed the bragging rights on the day.
Race two saw many of the club’s senior members take to the water in smaller boats. It was the boy’s Junior 18 four of James Foster, Odhran Donaghy, Peter Murphy, Conor McLaughlin and coxed by Rory Farragher who led both the club and the entire race down the course with a dominating row to claim the overall victory and fastest time of the day. Close behind were their female counterparts in the girls Junior 16 quad. The crew of Zoe McCutcheon, Caitlynn fee, Victoria Wilson, Jessica Long and again coxed by Sarah Dolan claimed a massive 80 second victory over there nearest rivals. Rory Gamble claimed victory in boy’s Junior 15 single, beating all but one of those racing in the age grade above.
There were also a number of other notable performances in Coleraine. The boy’s Junior coxless four finished third overall, while Abby Corry finished a close second in the girl’s Junior 15 single in what was her first race in a single scull. Gerry Murphy rounded of a successful day in Coleraine with victory in the men’s master single with the club claiming a total of nine wins.