MONAMOLIN SISTER and brother Andrea and Pádraig Kinsella were among the five crews from Arklow Rowing Club who visited Oeiras in Portugal recently to take part in the World Rowing Coastal Championships and compete across four categories.
Andrea accompanied Mary Ann Kent in the women’s double, while Pádraig was joined by Adam Neill in the men’s double. The team was completed by Síonna Healy, Xena Jordan and Cormac Kelly, with the travelling party also featuring Eamonn Kavanagh, Tilly Jordan and Colin Kinsella, who acted as team captain, as well as supporters, Margaret and Robyn Kinsella and Stacey Myler.
The athletes would like to thank Stafford’s Bakeries for the generous support and sponsorship which was provided towards the championships.
There was plenty of excitement over the three days of racing, with boat clashes and pile-ups, broken oars, false starts and penalties, giving spectators plenty to watch.
Conditions on the water proved to be quite challenging, where crews had to navigate a 4km course in the heats and ‘B’ finals and a 6km course for the crews who progressed into the ‘A’ finals, as well as battle the elements such as strong winds and tides and choppy water conditions.
Crews also had to contend with beach finishes, where a crew member had to run across a finish line after navigating the course. And those that made it through to racing on Saturday had to do a beach start, where crews started the race standing beside the boat. However, these conditions and obstacles did not faze the Arklow crews, who took it all in their stride.
The first crew from Arklow Rowing Club to take to the water was the men’s double, featuring Pádraig Kinsella and Adam Neill. They qualified from their heat and made it through to the ‘B’ final comfortably, becoming the only Irish men’s double at the event to progress into a decider.
Their ‘B’ final saw them enjoy a great start and they were well placed coming up to the first turn. Unfortunately, they got entangled with a German crew at the turn. They recovered well though and finished the race in great style in 17th position.
Andrea Kinsella and Mary Ann Kent competed in the women’s double heat, finishing comfortably in seventh place to qualify for the ‘A’ final.
They became the first women’s double from the club to qualify for the ‘A’ final at the championships in this category. After a seat slipped off its rail at the start of the race, the crew were fortunate that a restart was called, before a quick boat change due to a broken fin had to be done, Formula 1-style, for the crew.
The crew had a smooth take-off after the second start and they avoided a big pile-up on the first turn, finishing across the line in eleventh position.
Overall, there was a great Irish contingent out at the world championships, with 34 crews entered, resulting in one of the highest representations.
The event was a great success for the country, with 14 crews making it into the ‘A’ finals and ten crews qualifying for ‘B’ finals.
Out of the Irish teams that travelled, Arklow Rowing Club was the club with the highest representation.
This was only achieved by the dedication the crews put in to training, which was seen through the results at the championships, with the club coming home with three crews in the top 20 in the world and Síonna Healy in the top five.
The club has much to look forward to next year, as preparations are already under way for the 2022 world championships, which will take place in Saundersfoot, Wales.