While most of Trinity’s sports clubs are either on their summer holidays or beginning pre-season preparations, the college’s rowing clubs have no time to enjoy the heatwave with a busy few weeks ahead. Both DUBC and Dublin University Ladies’ Boat Club (DULBC) are gearing up for a hectic month, with the men’s senior crew competing at the Henley Regatta this Wednesday. Between that and the Irish Rowing Championships later this month, July gives the clubs a vital opportunity to evaluate themselves against the best.
DUBC’s Senior 8 kick off their campaign at Henley at 6:40 on Wednesday evening, taking on the University of London in the Temple Challenge Cup. The Trinity Sports Awards Team of the Year qualified for the prestigious event on the back of their strong performance at the Marlow Regatta on June 23, finishing 5th in the final of the Championship 8s. They also clocked the 3rd fastest time in the Tier 1 trials, in a group which included rowing heavyweights such as the Leander Club and the University of Newcastle. The Henley Regatta, one of the highlights of the British social calendar, will serve as a good acid test before the National Rowing Championships in Farran, Co. Cork in 2 weeks’ time. The club are also entering their Club 8 and Club 4 crews in the competition, which begins on July 13.
Members are relishing the prospect of competitive rowing over the coming weeks. Adverse weather conditions earlier this year led to the cancellation of many of the regattas. This meant that racing opportunities were extremely limited for the club. Robbie White, member of the Club 4 crew, expressed his delight and excitement about the, “spectacular,” results so far. “I would say that this season is exciting not just for the results we’ve seen so far but for next year and the future in general. We have built such a strong foundation this year and the culture in the club is just grounded in that constant effort to go faster, making the possibilities for next year and beyond endless really.
“It’s not easy to be as competitive as we have been this season and a few sacrifices have been made along the way. Early morning training during the winter and the occasional double session during the week can be challenging but it is so worth it when you can row up to the start line and relish the challenge that is to come because, ultimately it’s just another day. Our coach, Richard, constantly puts us in competitive situations, on a weekly and sometimes daily basis, so racing just becomes another part of our continual build for the National Championships.”
After an incredibly successful this season so far, DULBC will be looking at the Championships with plenty of confidence. The Senior crew claimed the bragging rights at this Colours event, rowing in unusually wintry conditions on St. Patrick’s Day. At their home event, the Trinity Regatta, many of the crews, including the Senior and Intermediate 8s, came away with victories. Add that to wins at the London Metropolitan and Cork Regattas, and commendable results at the University Championships, and one can expect a strong showing in Farran Wood in 2 weeks’ time.
Their athletes have also earned recognition for their efforts this year. 4 members of the Senior crew; Caoimhe Dempsey, Dineka Maguire, Sarah Kelly and Aoife Corcoran, have been selected to represent Ireland at the Homes International Regatta on July 21. The event will see them take on crews from Wales, Scotland and England. Dempsey, along with teammate Lauren McHugh also received Pinks from DUCAC in honour of their outstanding individual achievements.
The club give special thanks to some of their alumni who have returned this year and have made sizeable contribution to their success this year, DULBC Laura Walsh explained. “These ladies have demonstrated true determination and passion for the sport, getting back in the boat and training through the tough winter seasons.” She revealed the club’s goal of, “ having a fully registered alumni club, Anna Liffey, up and running this September.” Walsh also gave special mention to the, “high level of commitment,” exhibited by their team of coaches this season; “Laura McKay, Frankie Sheridan and primarily DULBC’s head coach Andrew Coleman, all of whom coach on a voluntary basis.”
Finally, as the season draws to a close at the end of the month, Walsh showed her enthusiasm and optimism for the club’s chances. “I look forward to seeing some great racing from all DULBC athletes at the National Championships and the Homes International Regatta, finishing the season on a high and hopefully reaping the fruits of our labour.”