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News from 2011

Jes Rower Breaks Irish National Record

We all congratulate Kai McGlacken, a Jes second year student, who broke the Irish 4 Minute National Record at the Rowing Ireland Indoor Championship, held on Sunday 13th November 2011 at the Trinity College Sports Centre, Dublin. This is an official event organised by Rowing Ireland.

Kai (centre) having just received his winner's medal

In the 4 minute ergometer time trial, Kai rowed 1,207m, breaking the previous record of 1,201m, set in 2006 by Mark Coalter of Portora BC.

Well done Kai, and well done to his coaches.

Kai was not the only Jes rower to do well. The Jes boys' intermediate crew attended the Championship and other members of our crew also achieved great results. Eoghan Walls, in only his third month of rowing, came fourth in the J14 four-minute test while Donal Coen came in fifth place in the same event. "Spanners United", our second year relay team won their relay event and "Punishers", the third year team, won the event overall, beating Blackrock College, the next leading team, by an astounding twelve seconds.

At the end of the day, every rower was happy with his time. The whole crew enjoyed the day out and we look forward to another year of winning races and breaking records. 

Letter from Sydney from Ciaran Glyyn

Coach Ciaran Glynn is in Sydney for 12 Months

November 2011

Things are going well down in Sydney. I am coaching in an all-girl High-school called Queenwood, which is on the north side of Sydney Harbour. The school rows out of the Mosman Rowing Club -- one of the largest in Sydney with some 450 active rowers.

The age groups in Australia are slightly different to Ireland, but basically I’m coaching the Junior 16’s with two other coaches, and I’m coaching the second Under 15 quad. It’s 5 am starts at the club on Mondays and Thursdays, 5.30 am starts on Tuesdays and Fridays, and I get to sleep in to 6 am on Saturday mornings. It took quite some time to get used to seeing a digital clock at 4.45 getting out of bed! We are back on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays from 3 to 6 pm with the Junior 15’s.

The club is very well equipped. They have 15 sculls, 5 doubles, 8 quads and 3 eights. Coaches are paid in Australia, so for every boat that goes up the river, there is a launch and a coach to accompany them. The club have 7 under 15 quads, so when they train, there are 7 coaches, in 7 launches to train the crews. It’s a bit different to having 4 scullers, 3 doubles and a quad with one launch on the Corrib….

The season is 6 months long in Australia. Rowing is considered a summer sport, so it’s shorter than at home. Having said that, they train hard to make up for the shorter season. Every piece on the erg / running/ on the water is recorded and evaluated against previous years and weeks to see if there is an improvement. It motivates the girls to push themselves each session.

We have competed in a number of regattas and have picked up wins in various events. At under 16 and 15 the main events are quads. At the under 18 level, the eight is the main event. The school is the current Under 18 eights champions for the last two years. Their coach from last year, and the Head of the programme is Alfie Young, who is from St. Michaels and Cork Boat Club. Richie Coakley from Skibbeereen is one of the 3 coaches for the seniors this year.

The school has access to some 16 ergs at the boat shed, along with 10 spinning bikes. We train from the school on Tuesday and Friday mornings, where there are another 10 ergs, 10 sliders for the ergs, a swimming pool and a fully kitted gym!

I’m enjoying the change in coaching women for a change. It does have its challenges though… I have to think before I start flying off the handle, giving out when scullers choose not to follow my steering instruction! We haven’t had any tears yet, but I’m dreading it as god knows what I’m expected to say. No doubt it’s a catch 22, and whatever I say will be the wrong comment.

I had been filling in coxing a Mosman masters 8 when their cox was unable to make it. We did have a bit of excitement one morning when a speed boat (horse power of 40) decided to plough into us in the middle of a 5k piece. I saw the launch speed past me going from the bow to the stern. I remember thinking that he mustn’t have seen us as he was quite close and at full throttle. Four mins later I started hearing noise from the crew, and eventually everyone starting to yell. I looked around, and about 10 metres from the stern a speed boat was going full tilt at us. It’s all a bit hazy, but I remember leaning to my right and the boat smashed into the stern on stroke side, pushing me to bow side. It went into strokes arm, launched 7 out of the boat, and ended up going through the boat and landing on bow side. After a few seconds I got my wits back and noticed that strokes arm had what looked like muscle coming out of his elbow and that 7 was missing. I looked around and saw that 7 was swimming back to the boat. Stern pair seemed in bad shape, but all they did was ask, very calmly, if I was okay. They make them tough down here! The 3 man was a doctor, and he jumped into the water and swam up to us all to check if we were okay. The boat was sinking so I rang Alfie who came out in his launch and picked me up. By the time we made it back to the slip there were marine police, normal police and an ambulance on the way. Stroke had to get stitches in his arm, but other than that, everyone was fine. It was a shame that we were using a brand new Filippi 8….

This was prior to me getting a tan….


The scrapes on the stern are from the propeller. As you can see, my “Opel” top survived the ordeal….


Club Dinner 2011

The rowers, coaches and guests attended the annual Club Dinner on Thursday, 20th October at the Salthill Hotel in Galway. Each year, the dinner is the occasion where the rowers can formally thank the coaches for their tireless dedication and hard work over the year and say goodbye to their fellow rowers who will not be rowing in the coming year. As such, the evening is a happy occasion with a tinge of sadness.

This year we thanked the retiring club captains, Áine Gavin and Ruben Cruise, for the excellent leadership and support they gave to the Club throughout the year.  Daragh McCarthy was nominated as Club person of the year.  As can be seen from the photos, a great evening was had by all.


Retiring Club Captain Áine Gavin


Retiring Club Captain Ruben Cruise

Daragh McCarthy Clubperson of the year with Mr. Pat Bracken, Club President

Daragh with coaches Mairtin Phelan (L) and Liam Molloy



Senior women crew members showing their appreciations to coach Seán Carolan ....


.... and coach Eamonn Colclough



A selection of photos from the evening









A Warm Welcome to Jes First Year Students

The introduction to rowing for first years was run again this year from 22 to 26 August 2011 and proved very popular, with 44 new students signing up – 17 girls and 27 boys.  As the photos suggest, the weather was mainly fine and all seemed to enjoy the experience.  We hope that many of those who took part will decide to take up rowing.  A big thanks to the coaches and rowers who were on hand every day to take the newbies up the river and introduce them to the mysteries of the dreaded Ergs. 

Some of first year students who were introduced to rowing. Hopefully some will have enjoyed the experience and will become Jes rowers.


Getting ready for a paddle


Heading off with the help of senior rowers


Taking the coach for a row


Annual barbecue

The CIRC annual barbecue and blessing of the boats took place as usual the day after the national championships -- the 17th July.  The barbecue attracted large numbers again this year. Well over 200 people attended -- Jes rowers, their parents and families, coaches, former rowers and friends and neighbours from other Galway rowing clubs.



John Humphreys, SJ blessing the boats



Presentations to former coaches

Presentations were made to two former coaches on the occasion of the annual barbecue.  CIRC thanked Siobhan and Redmond O’ Brien for their longstanding service to the club, during which they both coached a number of Jes crews to national success over the years (see CIRC Newsletter June, 2010).  Redmond and Siobhan continued to commute to Galway to coach even after moving to Limerick .  What dedication! 



Redmond O’ Brien with School Principal, Mary Joyce and CIRC Committee Chairman, MacDara Glynn



CIRC was also very sorry to lose coach Ciaran Glynn after 10 years.  Ciaran has gone off to Australia for a year to coach at an exclusive girls’ school in Sydney and is also coaching at Mosman Rowing Club.  We hope he won’t forget us and that he will return before too long!


Ciaran with Mary Joyce and MacDara Glynn


Some photos from the barbecue


Niall Kenny at World Cup Regatta Munich

The first World Cup Regatta took place in Munich, Germany on the weekend of the 27th – 29th of May. Former Jes Club Captain, and two- time Irish Championship winner for the club, Niall Kenny, was representing Ireland in the Men’s Lightweight Double Scull with Skibbereen oarsman Mark O’Donovan.

Niall, who claimed a silver medal in the lightweight quad at the World Under 23’s last summer, was racing in the Senior Lightweight double. This event is one of only two Olympic class events for lightweight oarsmen at the Olympic games. Niall and Mark progressed from the quarters to the semi with ease. In the semi they were racing world champions and Olympic champions among others. Their result in the semi qualified them for the “B” final, where they came sixth. This is a very encouraging start to the season for Niall and Irish rowing. With the Olympic Qualifier being raced in Bled at the end of the season, we wish Niall and the rest of the Irish Rowing Squad all the best for the remainder of the season.

Niall with Proud Dad Tadgh at the Munich Course.


Jes Rower selected in the Irish Rowing Team

Andrew Bell, a 5th Year student at Coláiste Iognáid, has been selected to represent Ireland at this years Home Internationals in Strathclyde, Scotland. He will be racing in both the Men’s Coxless Four and the Men’s Coxed Eight at the end of July.

Andrew is following in the footsteps of former Jes athletes who have rowed for Ireland. In recent years these have included Olympian Cormac Folan, World Under 23 Lightweight Silver Medallist Niall Kenny; and Nessa Foley, Neasa Folan, Heather Boyle, Andrea O' Grady, Aifric Keogh, Zoe Mannion, Eddie Mullarkey and Keith Duffy, all of whom represented Ireland in junior rowing while students at the Jes.

Andrew began the trialing process last December in Dublin with a gruelling ergometer test. The next stage was a trip to Newry in County Down for a sculling time trial on the Newry canal. Finally, Andrew completed his “four corners of Ireland” with the final trial at the National Rowing Centre on Innishcarra Lake in West Cork.

Congratulations to Andrew, and best of luck from all at Coláiste Iognáid.

Andrew in Belgium at the Ghent International Rowing Regatta, May 2011