The City of Derry Boating Club’s winter rowing season kicked at Bann Head of the River Race last weekend.
The Bann race, split into two races, morning and afternoon, was well organised by the local club, Bann Rowing Club, and although the big school crews from Coleraine Inst, Methody, RBAI, and Portora RS were absent there was a solid entry of eighty four crews to tackle the 3,500 metre challenge from Seaton’s Marina to the Christie Park Jetty, upstream of Bann Boathouse.
Conditions were cold and blustery, and with the Bann in spate after the recent heavy rain the crews had to row against a fast flowing stream, - not for the faint hearted.
The Londonderry contingent were anxious to see how their newly formed Junior 16 coxed Quad would cope with the conditions in the afternoon race.
They were not to worry as the young lads had a fine row in their first ever competition, improving their seeding, to finish eleventh overall, behind the more experience Portadown quad.
This could be an exciting crew for the future as City of Derry look to build their Junior boys and girls rowing section into a serious competitive force.
As ever, the newly elected Club Captain, Gaetano D’urso, was first on the entry list in the Masters single sculls and recorded a fine time of 19.02.
The Derry Masters double scull of Brown and Baldwin took their pennant in style and the Ladies masters double, Mo brown and Nia Loughlin, in only their second competitive outing, recorded a fine time and will be well pleased with their effort.
David Gilliland, who rowed with his university eight at Henley regatta in July, competed in the intermediate single sculls and finished third in his class.
Club training continues throughout the winter with sessions at 5.30pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and at 10.30am on Saturday mornings.
The club is looking to bolster their Junior squad and fit, well motivated, boys and girls from age 12 to 16 are invited to come along and try out for a crew place.
For more information visit the club’s facebook page.