Since the last update it has been an action packed few weeks for Queen's Rowing with the novice programme now in full flow, four athletes competing at the British Rowing Championships and four athletes trialling for the Irish national rowing squad.
With the new season well underway the novice programme is now beginning to gather pace. Queen's men's and women's novice crews have achieved great success in the UK and Ireland in recent years, and we are looking to build on that success and move forward again this year. The early signs are very promising with large numbers of men and women trying out rowing as the squads begin to take shape. In recent weeks we have consistently had 5 or 6 mens eights and 5 or 6 women's eights training on the Lagan, as well as working hard on the ergometers and during indoor circuit training. It has been great to see so many enthusiastic and talented athletes joining the club and we hope to see as many as possible staying on to compete at the summer regattas, and ultimately challenging for pots at the Irish Rowing Championships. We had five novice crews compete in a micro-head race on the Lagan with some impressive performances considering they are barely a month into their rowing careers. It's worth mentioning that this year's novice managers are Chris Rice and Brian Murray for the men, and Lana Mullen and Niamh Cassidy for the women. They have done a brilliant job so far and their tireless work is very much appreciated by everyone at the club.
A big well done to our athletes that competed at the British Rowing Championships in Nottingham two weeks ago. Conditions were very rough but our crews are well used to that after winter training on the Lagan! Our Open U23 mens 2X of Gareth McKillen and Chris Beck placed first in the D final, which placed them sixth overall in their category. Our Open U23 women's 2X of Rebecca Edwards and Dineka Maguire placed second in the G final, placing them 5th overall in their category. Fantastic achievements from both crews in a regatta featuring team GB's top rowers.
The men's club sent four athletes down to Cork for the first Rowing Ireland high performance trials. Conditions were tough with strong winds throughout. Tiernan Oliver and Philip Doyle trailed in the Heavyweight men's single sculls. Tiernan reached the A final where he finished third with a final percentage of 84.9% (of gold medal time). Phil reached the C final and finished with a percentage of 84.1%. Joel Kelly and Luke McCann entered an U23 Lightweight pair. They had a tough time trial but recovered well to produce an impressive performance in the C final, achieving a percentage of 86%. A special mention goes to Philip Doyle and Joel Kelly (pictured below) who were trialling after only one year of novice rowing.
Also, we wish Gareth McKillen and Chris Beck the best of luck as they head over to England to trial for the Great Britain rowing squad in a little under two weeks.
The men's and women's intermediate and senior squads are training hard as they target wins in the first head race of the season, Bann Head, in a little under two weeks time. Several novice crews from each squad will also be competing. In the next update we will provide a round up with the results from the race.