Carlow Regatta June 2023

To kick off June we attended Carlow Regatta with a large number of entries, 35 in total this year meant that Waterford were represented in virtually every category on the second day of racing. Carlow Regatta is run over two days with Saturday hosting the Junior 18’s and older. Sunday is for Junior 16 and under. Both days were baked in perfect sunshine and high temperatures unlike last year’s Carlow Regatta which rained pretty much all day and felt like more like February. The Carlow course itself is quite tricky with there only being 2 lanes with several bends in the river along the course making it a challenging course for singles and doubles in particular. After such an amazing start to the 2023 season hopes were high of securing several wins over the weekend and the team brought it home with a fantastic total of 16 wins.

On Saturday we only had a single competitor. Lochlann got proceedings off to a perfect start with a great win in the Junior 18B 1x over his Carlow rival. Nice job Lochlann. 100% record for Saturday.

Onto Sunday where the rest of our crews would take to the water. A quick note of apology to all here, I was on top of all the early races but as the day wore on and got busier I wasn’t completely aware of everything going on due to me running around like a headless chicken. Apologies if some of the races get more coverage than others below. I hope to fill in the gaps afterwards.

Things kicked off for Waterford in race 1 and the first heat of the WJ13 1x. Some bad luck saw Faye and Hannah draw each other in this race with the winner to go through to the final 30 minutes later. Faye made an excellent start and took a two length lead by halfway with hannah pulling her way back into the race but misfortune struck and Faye went slightly off course towards the bank on the Graiguecullen side. Hannah seized the opportunity and took the win with Faye recovering towards the finish. Great effort from both girls throughout this heat.

Next up in race 5 was Rachel in a straight WJ14 1x final against a sculler from Commercial. Rachel was our sole competitor in this category and she rowed a well controlled race and took an excellent victory to give Waterford their first win of the day. Great job Rachel.

Races 6 and 7 would see our 3 MJ14 1x competitors take to the water in straight finals. First up in race 6 was Colm and Harry Grant. Colm made a really good start and took a lead of about 2 lengths after 500 metres but Harry started clawing his way back into the race. But Colm held his composure and brought home the win. Always tough to draw your own teammates but both lads had a really good showing here. Race 7 saw Oisin take on a sculler from Offaly in his final. In his typically composed manner Oisin took a good win distancing his rival by several lengths by the finish. Well done to all three who would team up later in the day in the MJ14 4x and MJ15 4x

Race 8 saw Hannah back out in the final of the WJ13 1x after a very short turnaround time. Unfortunately the same misfortune that Faye suffered in their heat would now befall Hannah in the final where she got caught on the bank at one of the many bends on the course. Despite losing a huge amount of time Hannah got back on track and finished out the final to great applause from the many Waterford supporters along the banks.

Next up in Race 12 was Sarah in the WJ16 1x heat. Sarah would have to make an Olympic like effort to negotiate 2 heats to make it to the final. She achieved the first third of this in a hard fought win over her Commercial competitor.

Race 13 saw Sean Harte take to the river in his MJ16 1x heat. Building on his excellent form from Castleconnell Sean took a comfortable win in his heat to progress through to the final. Next up Darragh took his place in the MJ15 1x heat but was unlucky to lose out to his Coleraine rival in that heat.

What was originally scheduled as an all Waterford tie awaited us in race 15 where Henry was meant to take on Oran in the MJ15 1x heat but luckily the lads were split up on the day and assigned to different heats. Oran prevailed in his heat to take his slot in the final later in the day and then to add to this Henry won his heat as well, so both progressed to the finals. Next up in race 16 Harry Whelan was in a straight final in the MJ15 1x but unfortunately lost out this time.

Race 17 saw our first double of the day in the WJ16 2x with the Waterford B team of Deirdre and Hannah taking on Carlow B. The girls took a really good victory here to progress to the final.

Next up in race 20 was the WJ14 4x+ in their first heat. The girls took this heat comfortably and progressed to the final later in the day against Coleraine. Race 22 saw our WJ15 4x+ in a straight final. Jessica, Aine, Katie and Edie have been in fantastic form all season and brought home yet another win to add to their rapidly expanding medal collection. Just reward for all the hard work over the Winter, brilliant work girls.

Race 26 saw Sarah win her second heat of the day in the WJ16 1x to progress to the final at the end of the day. In an effort to take part in as many races as humanly possible Sarah would also line up in the WJ16 4x+ later in the day as well. Race 27 saw some confusion in the MJ16 2x where th Waterford crew of Sean and Darragh were waiting at the start for 30 mins for their competitors who didn’t turn up with the result of the race being postponed until later in the day. An unwelcome outcome given the heat at midday.

Oisin and Colm set out for their final in the MJ14 2x in race 32 but their competitors didn’t turn out so they returned to the slip as their race was postponed until later in the day. Nonetheless they rushed back to the start to hop in to the MJ15 4x+ to join Harry Whelan and Harry Grant in that boat. The lads rowed a good race but finished behind a strong Coleraine quad. Yet again the lads went straight back to the slip to set up for the MJ14 4x+. Harry W switched out with Sean Fitz with Oisin moving to stroke and with Toby jumping in at the last minute to cox. One of the closest races of the day took place with Waterford trailing Carlow A by a length at halfway, but through a huge effort and masterful coxing by Toby the lads came through at the end and took a hard earned victory by a length. Huge credit to the lads, especially for racing back to back and still bringing it home.

Next out were the WJ15 2x in races 34, 35 and 36 with Waterford involved in all three finals, mercifully with none of the girls drawing each other. First up were Katie and Edie against the Coleraine pair. Unfortunately the girls weren’t able to add to their quad win earlier in the day this time but had an excellent race nonetheless. Following straight after in race 35 were Molly and Kate taking on Carlow in their final. Carlow couldn’t make it so the girls were awarded a row-over. Although not the ideal way to win a final the girls would be able to save some energy for races later in the day. The last of the WJ15 doubles saw Aine and Jessica take on the Graigue double. Unfortunately a slight “navigational misalignment” saw the girls crash out in this one handing the win to Graigue. Given the form Aine and Jessica have been in this season it turns out the only thing that could stop them was the riverbank. Hard luck girls.

At this stage of the day race order seemed to go a little askew as races were changed and moved, but next on the water were the WJ13 2x pair of Faye and Hannah. Although the girls rowed a great race they weren’t able to win this one although given their packed morning of racing it was a huge ask. Soon after this race Rachel and Molly took to the water in their WJ14 2x final. In a hugely successful day for both of the girls they took the win here to add to their tally.

The MJ16 4x+ quad of Oran, Darragh, Sean and Henry with Deirdre in the cox seat were scheduled to race Graig in the final but weren’t able to compete so Graigue were awarded a row-over. The lads would have welcomed the race here but no doubt they’ll be back in Cork.

After a hard earned break Oisin and Colm went back out for their MJ14 2x final (for the second time). This time the race went ahead and the lads raced home to a comprehensive victory. Great displays today from the lads across their categories and a well earned rest awaited.

The WJ16 4x+ quad of Siun, Erin, Hannah and Sarah took to the water next in their heat against a strong Commercial crew. Despite a fast and close race they weren’t able to take the win this time.

The MJ15 2x of Oran and Henry steeped up for their heat next against Coleraine and took a really good win to advance to the final. In addition to this Henry and Oran were split in their MJ15 1x finals and both went on to win their individual finals. Brilliant displays again lads.

Following this up were the finals of the WJ15 1x. There would be five finals with 4 of the Waterford team spread out across the finals. Unfortunately Aine and Katie would draw each other in one of the finals. In a tight race Aine took the victory this time to add to her already impressive tally to put even more strain on the Power trophy cabinet. Well done to both the girls, always tough to have to race each other.

Kate was next up and took on a sculler from Carlow but despite a good race didn’t win this one this time to add to her WJ15 2x from earlier in the day. Edie was the next of the Waterford team to race her final against a Coleraine sculler. Unfortunately Edie wasn’t able to add to her quad victory from earlier in the day but had an excellent race here nonetheless. Great effort girls.

Last but not least of the WJ15 1x squad was Jessica who got off to an excellent start and after 300 metres the race was already looking like a comfortable win but her opponent from Graigh raced an excellent race and managed to stay with a boat length of Jessica until towards the end. Jessica did manage to pull clear towards the end and take the win but it was a really tough race. Brilliant racing under pressure Jessica.

Moving towards the end of the day the MJ13 4x+ quad of Sean, Toby, Sam and Mads with Harry as their cox made their debut as a crew together in their heat against local crew Carlow. In one of the more exciting heats of the day the lads made a slow start with Carlow quickly building a boat length of a lead but with Harry (very literally) roaring the crew on they slowly pulled the lead back and overtook Carlow with about 250 to go and eventually took the race by a length.

Awaiting them in the final were a very strong Coleraine crew. Again the lads were a little slow off the start and Coleraine built up a significant lead after 500 metres but the lads got it back together and rowed strongly for the second half cheered on by amazing support from their teammates. The lads lost out by a few boat lengths but can take great heart from a fine performance in their heat and a good second half of the final. Lots to build on here, keep at it lads.

Darragh and Sean then took to the water in their MJ16 2x final having beaten Coleraine in the heat earlier in the day. In one of the stranger races of the day the lads received a warning early on in the race for coming across and coming too close to Graigue despite both crews drifting towards the center. The umpire restarted the race and both crews took off only for Waterford to be penalised again shortly afterwards resulting in a disqualification. The umpire set Graigue off and gave them a few boat lengths before releasing Waterford who then proceeded to race down the course (unsure that they’d actually been disqualified). They overtook Graigue and crossed the line first but the result didn’t stand. Always tough to be disqualified but the lads had to take the decision and move on. Great display up until this however.

The MJ15 2x double of Henry and Oran took to the water for their final after beating Coleraine earlier in the heats. The pair took yet another win to add to their singles wins earlier in the day. Another great showing to follow up on the success in Castleconnell.

Not to be outdone by the WJ15 4x+ crew the WJ14 4x+ team of Rachel, Hannah, Faye and Molly with Jessica coxing set out for their final after their win in the heats earlier in the morning. In another wonderfully well raced outing for the girls they took the victory to add to their recent successes in Cork and Castleconnell. Great showing yet again girls especially after a long day of multiple races.

Closing in on the finish and Waterford still had three more finals to compete in. Oran was due to compete in the MJ15 1x final but his competitor didn’t show so Oran was awarded a row-over. Next up was Sean in his MJ16 1x. As in Castleconnell Sean stormed home for another very impressive victory. Great showing Sean.

Last and certainly not least was Sarah in the WJ16 1x after a punishing day of heats and finals. Unfortunately after making it through 2 heats and a packed schedule of other events during the day Sarah couldn’t quite take the win despite an amazing effort.

In total Waterford scored a fantastic 16 wins across the approximately 30 races entered with many of our competitors meeting their own teammates in finals. Not only that ,every single crew was competitive and on another day could have easily taken even more wins on a very tricky course. Huge credit to all of our athletes for the hard work that’s been going on all through the year, the incredible results across the past four regattas are clear to see.

A quick note of apology to anyone I’ve missed in the report above or if I’ve gotten any facts wrong, it was a hectic day so it was really tough to stay on top of what was going on particularly later in the day. Thanks to Sinead for being our scorekeeper today, it wasn’t an easy task. For any corrections to be made feel free to let me know and I’ll be sure to update.

As always huge thanks to everybody involved, Mick for towing the trailer, Stephen for providing the jeep, Derek for his fearless videography and coaching, to all the coaches and parents and most important to the athletes themselves, each and every one are a credit to the club.

A last final mention to any of our Athletes about to start their Junior or Leaving Certs. The best of luck to all of you, seeing the dedication you all give to the club there’s no doubt that you’ll all do brilliantly. Good luck all.

Next up is the Rowing Ireland 1K Classic at the National Rowing Center on Saturday 01st July followed swiftly on Sunday 02nd July by the Fermoy Sprint Regatta.


Full official results yet to be published. 16 wins in total for Waterford.

MJ18B 1xLochlann Flanagan1st
WJ14 1xRachel Weldon1st
MJ14 1xColm Brennan1st
MJ14 1xOisin Warren1st
WJ15 4x+Edie O’Flaherty, Katie Fitzpatrick, Aine Power, Jessica Cooke1st
WJ14 4x+Rachel Weldon, Molly O’Flynn, Hannah Lemon, Faye O’Flaherty1st
MJ14 2xOisin Warren, Colm Brennan1st
WJ15 2xKate Lemon, Molly O’Flynn1st
MJ15 2xOran Skinner, Henry Brady1st
MJ14 4x+Oisin Warren, Colm Brennan, Sean Fitzpatrick, Harry Grant1st
WJ14 2xMolly O’Flynn, Rachel Weldon1st
WJ15 1xAine Power1st
WJ15 1xJessica Cooke1st
MJ15 1xOran Skinner1st
MJ15 1xHenry Brady1st
MJ16 1xSean Harte1st
Carlow Regatta 2023 WBC results

Official Regatta results can be found here (Sunday results still to be added)