Saturday saw an array of smaller boats competing from the Queen's Lady's and Queen's Men's Boatclubs, featuring Queen's boats racing in the Women's Novice Single, the Men's Intermediate Single Scull and the Men's Senior Pairs event. The heats for the Senior Pairs event was one of the earliest races to kicks-start Day Two of the Irish Rowing Championships, which featured one entry from Queen's consisting of QUB Vice-Captain Matt McKibbin at Stroke and Charles Cunningham at Bow. The pair finished third in their first heat, (times are unavailable for all competitors of their Heat) allowing them to progress to the final where they finished in 5th place with a time of 7:59.23. The top three crews in their finishing order were Galway A in 1st place, 7:29, NUI Galway in 2nd, 7.30 and St. Michaels RC B in 3rd, 7:44. The Queen's men just missed out on 4th position to Galway B, who finished slightly ahead with 7:59.06.
Matt had this to say about his and Charles' performance: We fielded a senior pair to warm our legs up for the straight final in the 8 on sun. good solid row in the heat saw us through to the final. unfortunately as the conditions worsened that day we didnt have our best row in the final and finished a disappointing 5th, but didnt worry too much as the focus had been on the 8.
The next race which Queen's featured in was the Women's Novice Singles Race, which had first year rower Rebecca Edwards representing the Lady's club in the Single Scull. Rebecca won her heat, with a time of 11.30, which was a brilliant start to her racing for the weekend and a result which made for a promising final for her in the Women's Novice Single event. In much tougher conditions, Rebecca raced hard in the final, finishing in third place, squeezing ahead of the Commercial sculler Jennings in the last 500m, who finished at 11.13 while Rebecca finishing with a time of 11.10. 1st place of the race went to Skibbereen sculler Hegarty at 10.42 and 2nd place was Commercial Sculler Foley at 10.52. Rebecca had this to say about her performance:
The massive head wind meant I had to row against the flow. My start wasn’t great because of the conditions. Racing the final, as I came to the 1k believed I could finish top 3. I started to wind up at 300m to go and saw the Sculler Jennings beside me. I saw my opportunity to take 3rd place and took it. Racing at champs was great, raced all weekend and enjoyed it all.
(Rebecca Edwards finishing 3rd in the Final of the Women's Novice Single Sculls race at the Irish Rowing Championships)
Luke McCann was back in the single on Saturday also, representing the Men's Club in the Men's Intermediate Single Sculls Event. The Intermediate Singles Event was a step-up for Luke from the Lightweight singles race, as it was much more hotly contested, with six heats in total and with only the first and second placing scullers from each heat being granted eligibility to progress to the Semi Finals.
Luke raced well in his Heat and finished in second place (times are unavailable for his Heat unfortunately). Luke raced hard in his Semi-Final event, but unfortunately just lost out on coming in 3rd place, which would have permitted him to race in the Final, to the Portadown Sculler McKeown, with Luke finishing with a time of 9:14 and McKeown finishing with 9.09. The Winner of Luke's Semi Final, the Skibbereen sculler Burns, went on to Win the Intermediate Singles Final, with a time of 9:04, while the Portadown Sculler McKeown finished in 6th place, whose correct time is unavailable.
Luke had this to say about his performance throughout the Men's Intermediate Single Sculls Event:
It was great to compete in it, my heat went great; got into second which was a qualifying position and sat on the field to save energy. It was a great feeling to be able to sit at a lower rate and maintain a leading position. For the semi I was too tired to compete with my competitors which included the sculler who would go on to win, but it was the perfect end to be able to sprint finish and pip the Carlow sculler to 4th.
A promising set of results from Day Two of the Championships overall. As with the Senior Four on Friday, the Pair was always seen by Matt and Charles as preparation for the Senior Eight on Sunday. The two scullers Rebecca Edwards and Luke McCann performed particularly well and have achieved much already in what is only the end of their first year of Rowing for Queen's. Onwards to Sunday...