Rowers from NUIG claimed five titles at the Irish National Rowing Championships over the weekend, including the blue riband event, the men’s senior eights.
The first time in 21 years NUIG have won this event on their own, the crew had to pull out all the stops to snatch victory on the line from Queen’s University Belfast.
The final victory was sufficient for the college also to win the prize for best overall club.
Queen’s looked to have the eights title wrapped up, having taken the lead at half way and repelling NUIG’s efforts. However a final push saw NUIG pass the Belfast crew on the line to win by a mere .4 of a second.
Cox Ruadhán Cooke says rowing is very much a part of the fabric and identity of Galway.
“ It's a sport that strikes a chord with Galwegians. We in the university are very proud of our rowing tradition and we are committed to working hard in order to stay on top in the years ahead,".
The winning crew were Dave Mannion, Jason Wall, Evin Donnelly, Pádraig Bracken, Paul Giblin, Alan Martin, Cormac Folan, James Wall, and Ruadhán Cooke. The crew was coached by Tom Tuohy, a recent recipient of an honorary MA in recognition of his years of service to the sport in the University.
Other national titles secured by NUI Galway were the men's senior coxless fours and double sculls, while the women claimed both the novice eights and fours.
It was a successful championship for Galway crews with the five clubs claiming a total of 13 Irish titles. Tribesmen’s Lisa Dilleen grabbed four titles. In addition to winning the junior and intermediate qsingles, she helped the club to success in the junior coxed fours and intermediate double. Galway Rowing Club took the senior pairs title.
St Joseph’s College “The Bish” took their largest contingent to Iniscarra Lake with the first golds coming from the Junior 14 4x crews. The first final saw the Bish hold off a spirited Carlow crew on the line to claim the gold, while the second crew tussled with Skibbereen, to win on the line. The Junior 18 coxed fours, unbeaten all season, justified their favourites’ tag, finishing a full length clear of Clonmel.
The Bish renewed rivalry with Portora in the Junior 16 eights, but on this occasion the Galway school had to settle for second, as did James Egan, competing in only his second race in the Junior 14 single scull. However in the Junior 18 eights, the Bish finished a full length and a half clear of rivals Bann and Portora for a third gold medal, while the haul was completed by Fionnan McQuillan Tolan who claimed first in the Junior 15 single scull, ahead of the Jes.
Successful Bish Crews: Jnr 18 8+ Cox Mike Fleming, Str Rob O Callaghan, Richie Bennett, Eoghan Murphy, Andrew Kemple, Ellery Smith, Oisin Hannigan, Conor Egan, Luis Simo.
Jnr 18 4+ Cox Mike Fleming Str Rob O Callaghan, Andrew Kemple, Eoghan Murphy, Fionnan McQuillan Tolan.
Jnr 14 4x Cox Mike O Flaherty, Str James Egan, James Flynn, Ross Maxwell, Eric McEvoy.
Jnr 14 4x Cox Eoin Power, Str Jack Bennett, Aidan Kinnen, Dylan Delargy, Mark Isotomin.
Jnr 15 1x Fionnan McQuillan Tolan.