New boat as rowing club expands
Leisure rowing has really taken off as a new initiative at Sligo Rowing Club with the arrival of the club's second touring boat this month.
Although Leisure rowing was only introduced as another aspect to the Doorly Park based club late last year, it has become really popular with people of all ages who want to take up the sport in a non-competitive fashion.
Now the club already has its second Leisure boat which is being celebrated with an Open Day from 2-5pm on this Saturday in Lough Gill.
Rory Clarke, PRO of Sligo Rowing Club said the club is really expanding and delighted to see new members joining as Leisure rowers.
He said: "We are very happy to announce the arrival of our second touring Leisure quad and it is named Annacoona, that is a cave on Benbulben.
"The boat cost €10k and was paid for by the Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership and a private sponsor.
"It was designed by a British guy by the name of Eric Sims and it was built in China.
"It's 40 foot long and in comparison to racers it is a wider, deeper more stable boat which suits inexperienced rowers.
"It is very stable in the water as it is not as light as racers. The cox is in the back.
"We got the first boat last year and this now will be our second Leisure one.
"As it is arriving on Thursday we are holding the Open Day on Saturday from 2-5pm in Doorly Park.
"The Open Day should be really good we are looking forward to it.
"There will be a bbq and a great atmosphere, it is a chance for people to come and try out rowing and it's free.
"We are happy for people to come and join our learn to row programme it's on Tuesdays and Thursdays for over 18s.
"It's great for people looking to get fit with our Leisure programme.
"It has been up and running since last September and it has been going really well.
"There are 20 people involved and really enjoying it.
"Ray Murtagh from Pulse Fitness in the instructor.
"It's great for the club with people getting an idea of rowing and then they can go off and row around the country.
"They also get a rowing passport to document where they are at in their rowing as they progress."
The club's competitive rowers are busy with the regatta season in full flow.
"The club recently competed at the Trinity Regatta at Island Bridge in Dublin.
"Glenn Patterson won the Intermediate Single Sculls, he is doing fantastically and Brian Colsh too was narrowly beaten in the Junior Single Sculls. He was beaten by a 6'4" Croatian.
"We had a schools race at O'Brien's Bridge with Sligo Grammar School and the Ursuline College too. We have a lot of students in the club from around the region. Alannah Donohue competitively raced in the Single Sculls for the first time and did quite well. She is one to watch for the future," he added.
Rory said the club is finalising their dates for their own Regatta later this summer.
"We were in Lough Rynn recently too they have an Olympic-style course.
"Rowing has really taken off and we are building the profile of the club all the time.
"We are open to new members and if people are interested in the Leisure rowing they are more than welcome to come down and try it.
"It's for people such as retirees and those say in the 40s or 50s, people seem to really enjoy it.
"The next main event is the National Championships which are taking place the first weekend in early July so we look forward to that," Rory added.
If you are interested in signing up for Leisure rowing check out their Facebook page on Sligo RC.