Ballydavid Regatta basks in... the rain
WEATHER conditions were mixed at Baile na nGall for the annual regatta on Monday but it was still a great improvement on last year when the event was cancelled because of torrential rain.
Some people were complaining about the cold this year and few, if any, went swimming off the beaches on either side of the pier. Aside, that is, from the 26 swimmers who entered the water in mid-afternoon on behalf of the Children's Hospital in Crumlin and swam across the harbour in one of several fundraising events organised annually by Nuala Moore on behalf of the hospital.
The regatta was a little late getting started and the first to compete were the U14s which saw Jamie Granville, Megan and Niall Flannery and Aoife Moriarty take top spot.
Next up were the men and the result was a reversal of the same event in Ventry a week earlier with Michael Hennessy, PJ Griffin, Christopher Griffin and Billy Griffin claiming victory over the other Maharees crew under Jackie Goodwin. There were three generations of Griffins involved in Monday's win because grandfather Tom Griffin is the team coach.
Billy Griffin went on to take the single handed event later in the day.
Lorcán Ó Cinnéide provided a bi-lingual commentary for locals and visitors but passing the commentary position in Baile na nGall is always a risk. "Anyone passing by here is fair game for comment. It's part of the tradition of regatta day!" Lorcán told The Kerryman.
The three crews in the women's race were guaranteed a prize and the first one went to Monza Heidtke, Gillian Ní Bhriain, Róisín Breathnach and Marie Danagher. Monza and Gillian teamed up again to take the Rás Paróiste along with Eileen Griffin and Kevin Granville
The U18 race saw victory going to Kevin and Lisa Granville, Eoin Griffin and Marie Danagher while the local punt race was won by Rónán Ó Súilleabháin and Martín Ó Conchúir.
While that age group may conjure up images of strapping young men and women some of the competitors were as young as ten. But as far as the younger crews were concerned it was not so much about winning but about getting experience.
The late and greatly missed Aloysius Kavanagh was remembered with the mixed two-handed race which was won by Martin Garvey and Eileen Quirke.
In the four-handed mixed race the crew of Michael Hennessy, Kieran Browne, Danny Scanlon and Denise O'Sullivan took the honours. Michael Hennessy was also presented with the Best Oarsman award while Monza Heidtke took the Best Oarswoman award.