Castleconnell Sprint Regatta 2019 had a record entry of 546 crews from all over the country, in retrospect to the 481 crews that entered last year.
Castleconnell Sprint Regatta 2019 stirs excitement within the Irish Rowing community
The Castleconnell Sprint Regatta 2019 took place on Saturday, May 18, on the River Shannon at Castleconnell Boat Club, in County Limerick. The regatta was run over a 500m, fully-buoyed, 5-lane course. The Castleconnell Sprint Regatta is part of the Waterways Ireland ‘Pathway to Row’ Regatta Series.
The day was full of excitement and fast-paced racing. Castleconnell had a record entry of 546 crews from all over the country, in retrospect to the 481 crews that entered last year.
With over 800 athletes taking part in events from Junior 12, to 80+ age categories, it was an action-packed day of racing. Races took place every four minutes from 9 am to 6:30 pm.
This year during the regatta, the final of Castleconnell’s ‘Corporate Row Challenge’ also took place. Companies around Limerick and Clare, such as Regeneron, Wyeth Nutrition, GECAS, AMCS and BD, put together crews of eight novice rowers, all of which had been training with Castleconnell for this unique team building event.
Proceeds from the ‘Corporate Row Challenge’ will go to support the families of Junior rowers in the Castleconnell Boat Club with the expenses and levies imposed on the rowers, which can cause financial pressure. The Junior rowers often go on to make Irish international crews. Semi-finals took place at the club on Friday, May 17, with the two final crews from Regeneron and Wyeth Nutrition, getting to row the final during the Sprints Regatta on Saturday. The spoils went to Regeneron on the day.
Aileen McGrath, a committee member of the Castleconnell Boat Club, said, “It was a great team-building event full of good-natured competition and everyone had great fun. The weather was kind and it was a great family day out!”
One of the most positive stories in Irish rowing has been the support provided by the Ireland Funds. Without drawing attention to itself, the philanthropic network has provided €500,000 to build up the sport and give opportunities to young Irish people. They have worked with Rowing Ireland, to ensure the development of a regional centre in Limerick, strong links to Castleconnell and the University of Limerick, a talent identification scheme and a bridge to scholarships in the United States for young rowers.
The key man in all of this has been James Mangan, Rowing Ireland under-23 co-ordinator and Castleconnell coach. He rowed and coached in the US, where he founded Saugatuck Rowing Club and built up strong relationships in the sport there.
For more information on Castleconnell Boat Club, go here.
For more stories on Castleconnell Boat Club, go here.