Bann Rowing Report, Erne, London and Lagan Head of the Rivers 2011

Bann Rowing Report, Erne, London and Lagan Head of the Rivers 2011

Bann’s fabulous Fortnight. The past two weeks have seen Bann Rowing Club, achieve tremendous results in Enniskillen, London and on the Lagan in Belfast. Their fabulous boat “The Sizzler” remains undefeated, and wins across the board, for Ladies and men, have been the order of the day. In Enniskillen the Bann mens J18 eight were seeking to defend the Devenish Cup, won for the first time by their unbeaten crew of 2010. This victory had ensured that the “Sizzler” started right behind the big senior eights and they flew up the Erne course in a very impressive time of 21:09, defeating runners-up Methody by 98 seconds and recording a very successful ”Cup” defence. Also at Erne, the strength in depth of the Bann club was well illustrated by the Men’s J16 coxed quad, winning their category and also defeating a Methody J16 eight by a full 19 seconds. The following weekend saw the Bann Club accept the kind invitation of double Olympian Alan Campbell, and travel to London to compete again in the London School’s Head, over the “Oxford/Cambridge” Boat race Championship course, on, appropriately enough, St. Patrick’s Day. With the generous loan of a boat and oars by Tideway Scullers, all arranged by “big Alan” the Bann crew once more excelled themselves over the full 6,800m ( four and a quarter miles) Championship course from Chiswick Bridge to Putney. The tideway on the River Thames is no place for the faint- hearted and most observers were very surprised to learn that the Bann crew had five lads who would still be eligible to compete in this J18 race for another two years. They were even more astounded when “big Alan” sportingly conceded that he himself had been the losing victim of Bann’s secret weapon, aka their Cox Jack Henry, when Jack had rowed against Alan in the final of the Bann Boxing Day scratch races back in 2009. Alan had quite a bit of bother getting anyone to believe this story, over in London, because, after all, it was St. Patrick’s Day. The Bann crew rowed themselves to a standstill, executed their race plan to perfection and not only achieved their fastest ever race time of 17:26, but again had an excellent top twelve finish against the elite of British rowing. Bann Coach Seamus Reynolds said that at this time of year he concentrated on the sheer volume of work, and was extremely pleased with his crew’s technique, their steering and aggression. The crew’s confidence was further boosted with the excellent news that they had only lost by 33 seconds to the 2011 race winners Abingdon, compared to the previous year’s 56 second margin to Eton, the 2010 Champions. Good solid progress, and so home to the 2011 Lagan Head of the River races. For the first time in many years Bann were able to turn out a ladies WJ18 eight, a men’s master’s eight and their Men’s J18 eight at the same event and all three big crews raced away with notable performances. One of Bann’s most pleasing wins was their mens coxed four winning at Intermediate level, with three seventeen year olds in the boat. The mighty atoms being developed and coached at Bann, right down to MJ14 and MJ15 quads all recorded debut victories over Methody and RBAI. Ladies coach Geoff Bones was delighted with two debut wins, firstly for the very young WJ15 coxed quad. and then when the Bann ladies eight cruised home to a great maiden victory over Methody. Geoff. announced that the very popular “rowing for beginners” classes would start this Friday at The Bann Boathouse at 5 o’clock sharp and everyone was welcome to come down and give rowing a try.

March 28th, 2011

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