Getting the boats out

By Kathrin Kobus

U12 Stella girls. Photos courtesy Christine Hanway, Stella Maris Rowing Club.

One item moved to the top spot on the list of the stuff the kids had to bring to their various summer camps. “Don’t forget the suncream.”

It was the same case for the inaugural rowing summer camp at Stella Maris. The majority were already members with the club, but some first-timers came along as well. It was a two-hour free rowing academy where everyone of the approximately 50 kids got time on and off the water.

The camps started at the beginning of July and ran each afternoon from 2.30 till 4.30pm. So there was no interruption of the children’s need for holiday lie-ins (after a night of playing in front of a screen.)

“They take every opportunity to get out for a row, so some of them took part in the camp and still came back to train later that evening. The camp is so much fun for all involved. They get out for a least two rows, are taken on boat trips up and down the river, and have a rowing machine challenge and games of twister, pool etc.

The boys are still struggling to beat the girls on the machine challenge,” said Christine Hanway, who is in charge of the camp together with her volunteers who organize their work shifts to facilitate commitment to the club and for any junior members with some spare time to come down and help.

One leg of rowing in either the punt boat or the 20-feet skiffs takes them up to the East Link and back again. That makes it about a kilometre and a half back and fro. Outside the clubhouse, which is at the moment getting a necessary refit, the rowing machines are lined up and basically not left standing still, somebody is always skulling along.

There are also the regattas throughout the summer along the coast or rivers. The fleet of blue white tops could be seen out in Bray and during their home regatta at the end of July.

The summer camp is already regarded as a success after its first month. “We hope, of course, that some newcomers will join us in our competitive teams in the juvenile section, we have a number of crews that take part in competition throughout Leinster and Ireland,” said the chairman, Liam Bannably. And Christine Hanway has a special thanks reserved for her U12 girls. “No matter what their results are on a race day, it’s great to see how much respect these girls have for each other. They display superb sportsmanship between themselves and towards all their competitors. They really are a credit to the club.”

Finally, the annual Hope Row is on the horizon and Liam Bannably is putting the call out not just to the rowing community, “What makes this such a massive success is the continued support we get from our members, family, friends, our fellow east coast rowing clubs and the amazing community of D4 and D2. We have no doubt that same support will come our way on Sept 15th.”

Registration for the Hope event begins on August 13th. By that time the two nominated charities will be selected.

For further information check out