Last Saturday, in a very cold and wet Enniskillen, the first VIII took to the water to compete in the annual Erne Head. This gruelling course is 6km long (three times the Olympic rowing course distance) and features a number of testing bends, as well as flow, wind and eddys not usually encountered on the predominantly tranquil Lagan waters.
The VIII that travelled consisted of Andrew Mallon, Lucas Prodohl, Brent Whiteside, Angus Harley, Nick Reid, Josh Hoy, Michael Gaston and Harry Hetherington, with Old Boy Rory Hulatt assisting with the coxing duties for this tough course. The crew were up against the best in Irish School, Club and University Rowing, with the added bonus of some Irish International boats thrown in there (including Instonian Chris Beck).
The conditions got increasingly windy and wet as the day progressed, leading to an earlier start time than planned, to try and avoid the incoming weather front. As the crews waited in the start area the rains came down heavily and the rain continued for most of the race time. The boys were up against some tough opposition and after a solid start made every effort to stay in touch with the crews in their category. This wasn’t made easy by the rough water encountered in some sections of the lough. As the race drew on the boys started to fall back from their rivals and finished the race just off their starting position.
It was a valiant effort in tough conditions, and will hopefully give the boys some determination to push on even harder in their training as we start to leave the winter months behind and look forward to the summer regatta season.
The Clubs next outing will be at the Lagan Scullers’ Head of the River on March 21st.