My first year at rowing was a great year I won two medals. When I first started rowing it was at 8 o’clock on Sunday mornings. When I started rowing I was 12. I also started in the winter which was extremely cold and would wear fluffy socks, two under-armours, a fleece, a coat and two leggings. So we would go out on the river and I was not able to row at all. In fairness to me I was a mess. I thought it would have been easy for me but it took me about a month to even get one stroke. Everyone learns at different paces. My brother did rowing before I started and I went around to all the events that went on and I thought ‘how hard can it be’. Anyway since he did rowing he was always telling me how awful I was when I started and that he learned it a lot quicker. Well I don’t know for sure how fast he learnt it because to be honest I did not know what rowing was.
As I got better at rowing we formed a quad that was our age group. It was an all girl j14 quad. Training at one point was five days a week. On Wednesdays there was circuit training in Waterpark R.F.C in the club house, that was all through the winter.
My first race was in Carlow Regatta because I had missed Castleconnel regatta. My very first race was in a quad and we came first against New Ross so I was very happy. That was my first medal and in my single race I came second ( there was only 2 in the race! ).
Then there was the Cork Regatta this regatta was on my birthday and my parents surprised me with cake that all the club helped eat. My single race didn’t go very well but we came second out of 5 in the quad and we met the O’Donovan brothers and got photos with them. It was great to be rowing on the same water as Olympians!
Then there was Fermoy Regatta , up at 5 am to hit the road . In our quad race the 2 other clubs we were against crashed into the banks and we kept rowing and we won and got my second medal !
Finally it was Irish championships in July and we were allowed to compete however the first day was cancelled due to high winds and we went home then went up the next morning hoping that it was on. It was on at lunch time and I competed , it was great. That was my first year at rowing and I love it!
Written by 13 year old Waterford Boat Club Rower.