The annual Tullamore Time Trial hosted by Offaly Rowing Club on the Grand Canal will take place this Saturday 1st October 2011 with a record entry of 115 official entries in 12 categories and a further 10 scullers who are generally young beginners. The time trial signals a return to the Head of the River season of competitions from now until April and the commencement of training for the 2010/2012 rowing season. For the rowers the winter season’s training will focus on endurance, stamina and technique building in preparation of the Regatta season from April to the National Championships in July 2012.
The format for the Tullamore Time trial will consist of four races starting at 8.30a.m., 10.30a.m., 12.30p.m and 2.30p.m. It is expected that competitors will row from the club house at Lock 23 on the Grand Canal to Lock 24 approximately 30 minutes before the start of each race and line up in race number order below the starting position. On the call of the race starter the competitors one by one will make their way to the starting line which will be a flying start. As each rower crosses the starting line the starting judge will call go and so begins the 2,250m race to the finishing line situated 250m below the club house. The fastest time in each age category will be deemed the winner.
Club entries for the time trial have been received from Three Castle Rowing Club from Wicklow, Graiguenamanagh from Kilkenny, Carrick-on-Shannon, Queens University Boat Club, Athlone, Dublin and Waterford. Racing categories will include men and womens junior 14, 16 and 18 age categories, senior men, senior women and Masters (all those aged 27 and over). At this year’s time trial Offaly Rowing Club is providing an opportunity to former Offaly Rowers to participate in the racing. As places are limited all those interested should contact Frank Durkin in advance of Saturday.
The senior category at this year’s time trial will be the race to watch. Notable is the presence of multiple current and former Irish Champions in Offaly colours. The line up will include Rory O Connor racing for Queens University, Belfast, David Neale rowing with UCD, Eimear Moran now with Three Castles Rowing Club, Blessington who will compete against Offaly rowers will compete against Ciaran Brady, Joanne Moran and Ciara Ní Cheilleachair representing Offaly Rowing Club.
Following a successful National Championship in July Offaly Rowing Club finished the 2011 rowing season on the August Bank Holiday weekend competing in Carrick-on-Shannon Regatta, Leitrim on the Sunday and Graiguenamanagh Regatta, Kilkenny on the Monday. There were wins for Offaly Rowers at Carrick-on-Shannon Regatta in the mens junior categories. Patrick Grogan won in the Junior 16 single scull beating fellow Offaly Rower Cathal Phelan. Later in the day the crew of Patrick Grogan and Cathal Phelan took first place in the double scull category. There was also a win for Mantas Pukelis in the Junior 18 single scull.
At Graiguenamanagh the Offaly Rowing Club competed in the junior men and women single, double and quadruple sculling events. A crew of junior 12 men who had started rowing during the summer months raced in their first race in a quadruple scull. As part of the regatta there was an opportunity for rowers to compete in an iron man competition of swimming, running and kayaking. Anthony Gannon was the best placed Offaly man taking third place after swimming the back stroke, going straight into the run and cruising into third place after a mighty piece of kayaking.
September saw Ciaran Brady coming first in his category in the New Ross rowing marathon. A former junior rower with Offaly Rowing Club Ciaran started the race at St. Mullins in Co. Carlow rowed down the River Barrow to the finish in New Ross, Co. Wexford covering a distance of 15km.