FROM this morning and throughout the day, the rowing fraternity of Killarney will flock to the Mahony’s Point course where the 232nd annual Killarney Regatta is being staged and the news emerging from all six competing clubs is that they will be competing in all the 17 races on the regatta programme.
Killarney has a rowing tradition dating back to the early 1800s and what makes it unique in the world of rowing is that the town and its environs can muster a grand total of six clubs.
Muckross who have been enjoying much success in recent years has a history dating back to 1800 and claim to be one of the oldest clubs in Ireland. Their neighbours in that region are Flesk Valley, established in 1923. Fossa, once known as Aghadoe Boat Club and established in 1893, draws its membership from the parish of Fossa while down beside Ross Castle we have Commercials, established in 1886. St Brendan’s were formed in 1895 and Workmen in 1920. All of the clubs enjoyed much success over the years.
While the annual Killarney Regatta may be the focal point of the rowing season the majority of those six clubs now compete regularly at regatta around the country and at coastal rowing events in both Kerry and Cork with the result that the rowing season now stretches from mid-January to late October and we must also taker cognisance of the fact that three Killarney oarsmen namely Paul Griffin, Sean Casey and Cathal Moynihan rowed for Ireland in the Olympic Games. This was akin to the feats achieved by the O’Donovan brothers from Skibbereen, which has helped to promote rowing as a sport in the county,
As the cost of staging the regatta continues to escalate each year the committee is deeply indebted to its sponsors, who contribute generously each year and are also greatly indebted to the management of Killarney golf club who have made their facilities available since 1954 when the regatta was first staged on that course.
Rowing has been growing in popularity among the fair sex over the years. This year’s programme will feature eight races for the competing ladies’ crews and the full programme is as follows.
9.30am, ladies juvenile sixes followed by the juvenile men’s sixes, junior ladies’ sixes, junior men’s sixes, minor ladies’ sixes, minor men’s sixes, veteran men’s sixes, veteran ladies’ sixes, senior men’s sixes, novice ladies’ sixes, novice men’s sixes, junior ladies’ fours, junior men’s’ fours, senior ladies’ fours, senior men’s’ fours.
Onshore entertainment will be provided by the Mary 0’Leary School of Dancing while the bonny baby contest will also attract much attention.
Win lose or draw, the contestants will assemble for the annual regatta dance and presentation of prizes on Tuesday, June 27, during which the winner of the Regatta Queen Contest will be announced.
Above: The Killarney Regatta committee at the 2017 regatta launch at the Killarney Avenue with sponsors, including Killarney Advertiser, represented by Kieran Healy, business development manager, back, right. PICTURE: DYLAN CLIFFORD