Athlone Boat Club hosted their annual regatta at Coosan Point on the shores of Lough Ree in recent times.
The event was attended by over 27 clubs from across the four proud provinces of Ireland with as many as 117 races recorded on the day. The positive atmosphere prevailing in Coosan Point was very evident from the first race to the last with regatta secretary, John O’Mara, declaring the event start and finish.
On the day all clubs were under starters orders by club president, Paul Donovan. This year he was the starting umpire and was stationed on a barge at the start line. He lined up the crews, settled the nerves of the junior competitors and gave all their starting orders.
With races starting almost every five minutes there was little time to complain about the wind and cold, or to enjoy the sunshine. Conditions were difficult in mid-afternoon, but all crews, junior and senior, got off to a great start.
The very fact that the regatta was able to take place this year was a major success for Athlone Boat Club, with the global health pandemic and past regattas cancelled due to bad weather this regatta was badly needed for the club. With the recent new rebuild located in Athlone adjacent to Custume Barracks, the income for this event was warmly welcomed by the club.
On the day the weather was good, winds were mild and there were moments of summer sunshine. The atmosphere around Coosan was electric with junior rowers rigging boats, gathering oars and getting ready for their moment to showcase their rowing ability at Coosan Point in front of clubs and coaches from across Ireland.
“This year’s regatta we focused on junior rowing, with some master’s events taking place on the day. The most refreshing part of the day was the involvement of some of Ireland’s best and brightest young rowers from across the country. All rowers who attended did their clubs proud with many taking home gold medals to complement all their hard work this season,” the club president, Paul O’Donovan enthused.
The overall best club on the day could not have been more fitting with Athlone Boat Club taking the prize (Stephen Doran Cup ).
“Being awarded the best overall club on the day was a tremendous result and not surprising. Athlone Boat Club, take a bow. This was an outstanding day delivered by an outstanding group of young athletes, coaches, parents, families and volunteers who give so much to the club,” club captain Nick Friel, remarked.
Like any club, those who support the club make it possible to achieve great success. The club was supported this year by a large number of local businesses, many of whom have supported Athlone Boat Club for generations. The club is very thankful to everyone for their support, the donations generated allows the club to continue to grow and develop as one of the Midlands major success stories in recent times.
“We have taken enormous pride in what was an outstanding regatta, our competitors winning the best overall club being the highlight of the day,” Mr O’Donovan commented,
As president, Paul thanked all who made the day possible, namely Athlone Subaqua Club, Order of Malta, RNLI, coaches, volunteers, Lakeside Marina, Lough Ree Yacht Club, McEnroe Family, parents and the regatta committee.
Paul was elected club president in recent years and during these times he navigated the club through a pandemic and rebuild. This successful junior regatta is another positive influence, which Paul creates within Athlone Boat Club as a leader.
All clubs from across Ireland now turn their focus on the Irish Rowing Championship this July, Athlone Boat Club would like to thank all clubs for attending and supporting their regatta and would like to wish all clubs the very best in the time ahead.