Lambay Challenge takes to the sea on September 25

by Rose Barrett
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Rose Barrett

Fingal Rowing Club will host this year’s Lambay Challenge on September 25 next, to be undertaken from Rush Beach to Lambay Island.

According to a club spokesperson, this challenge is not for the faint hearted and will entail a gruelling 19km row from Rush Beach, around Lambay Island and back to Rush.

“This year, we have capped the challenge to 13 boats (due to Covid restrictions). We have had huge interest in the event and unfortunately, had to turn away a large number of interested clubs,” said the spokesperson.

Sponsored by Lambay Whiskey who sponsor the Lambay Legends Race, and Keogh’s Crisps who sponsor the Keogh trophies, it promises to bea great day for our club and for the people of Rush!

Irish East Coast Rowing

Coastal rowing is undertaken by crews of four with one sweep oar each, and a coxswain. The boats are wooden clinker-built skiffs, which were once one of the most numerous type of working craft found along the eastern seaboard of Ireland.

Skiff racing has its origins in the trade of hobbling. Hobblers were freelance pilots, and competition was strong to be the first to lay claim to the approaching ships. Not only did the successful hobblers receive payment to pilot the ships into port but their employing would also be awarded the contract a loading/unloading those ships whilst in port.

The skiffs worked between Lambay Island just north of Dublin Bay and Wicklow Head, where they required considerable skill on behalf of the oarsmen. The long tradition of this style of coastal rowing is now carried on through the rowing clubs affiliated to East Coast Rowing Council. These clubs can be found around the old Dublin pilot stations of Ringsend and East Wall in Dublin Port, Dun Laoghaire, Dalkey, Bray, Greystones, Wicklow, Arklow.

Fingal Rowing Club is the 10th rowing club within the East Coast Rowing Council, and is a community-based and volunteer-driven organization.

See Fingal Rowing Club’s FB page for updates but note, September 25 for a spectacular event to view.

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