You gonna need a bigger boat(house)

Photographs provided by St. Pats Eimear McCormack.

By Kathrin Kobus

There is a five-point recruiting call out which Eimear McCormick, now in charge for public relations at St. Patricks rowing club, came up with. “It wasn’t actually a plan, more like some thoughts I just had and wrote it out.”
She said.

Anyway, it seems to work, so here are the five reasons to give rowing a try: 

A great way to keep fit

You can’t beat the craic

Low risk of injury

Make friends for life

And training with the best senior rowers on the East coast of Ireland. 

Admittedly, at least three of the five bullet points can easily be applied to other sports too. Around 40 is the member number Eimear ventured for the youngsters who come regularly on the weekdays between 5.30 and 6.30pm for training, mostly, but not exclusively, on the

However, there are still open seats in their boats. “We’re currently recruiting for Junior members aged between 12-18 both boys and girls. Come along and try rowing any evening Monday-Thursday from 5pm. Just drop by, everyone is welcome.”

This season, there is something new in the boat house. “We got a single scull offshore rowing boat now in addition to the skiffs. We are actually the very first Dublin club going to do offshore rowing. It’s a worthy challenge because it is probably going to be an Olympic discipline as well.”  

Offshore means mainly heading out on to the sea and only on those rivers and lakes “where the water tends not to be flat”, as it is explained on the Irish offshore rowing website. Rough waters plus the larger size of boat and oars (sculls) require a minimum age of 16+ for those interested. The discipline is also called the BMX of rowing.

The difference between sculling and the sweep rowing is the number of oars the rowers use. A sculler has an oar in each hand and pulls them through the water simultaneously. “It is part of our two-year plan,” says Eimear, “we want to take part in the European Championships. Niall O’Toole is heading the offshore section here in the club, and we have Peter Doyle, a world champion in offshore rowing, also available for coaching. That looks promising.”

Since the beginning of May, the skiffs are back out on the Liffey for training on weekdays in the early evenings. Also, time spent in the gym is an additional requirement to build up the strength and stamina needed. Eimear herself is a member of St. Patricks and Neptune Rowing Club Islandbridge and does full-time training, six days a week. Her training routine is split between rowing on the water, runs, the rowing machine and the gym for weights sessions.

The first proper regatta with St. Pats Green Whites will take place in Dún Laoghaire on the first Saturday in June. From then it goes out every weekend onto the waters for about ten weeks, and the All Ireland Coasting Race in Kerry will sum up the season again in August. NewsFour will be along for a medal tally.  

Contact: training Monday to Friday 5.30 -6.30 at St. Patricks Boat House at the Eastlink Bridge or find St.Patrick’s Rowing Club on FB and contact Eimear directly.