Skerries Rowing Club testimonials
What our members say
When we came to Skerries first, all those years ago, living by the sea was a real novelty. I had grown up near the Grand Canal but, apart from fishing for the odd pinkeen, the water meant little to me. Skerries with its picturesque harbour held more promise for sure.
We weren’t long resident in the town before I found myself out in a ‘Mermaid’, those wonderful, clinker-built, single-masted boats that were popular back then. Alas, there aren’t many of them left now. For some reason, that first foray out on the water with the canvas doing the work just didn’t enthuse me. It was a great experience, but I knew that sailing wasn’t for me. Many years passed and my contact with the sea was confined to frequent, enjoyable walks around The Head with clear views of the surrounding waters off the North and South Strands, the three islands close offshore and the distant grey mound of Rockabill. All that time, my view was always from the shore out towards the sea.
But that changed about ten years ago. We were walking along the harbour in early summer when I spotted the flash of synchronised oars out beyond the moored yachts. It was Na Sceirí, a venerable skiff many decades old, seating four rowers and a cox. It turned out that a Rowing Club had just been started. Two days later, after making a few phone calls, I found myself climbing into Na Sceirí and grasping an oar for the first time. After that initial spin, I was hooked. And, at last, I was able to look back at the distant shoreline from the seat of a rowing boat. Within a few weeks, I had been joined by some like-minded friends and the ‘Vets’ (Veterans) crew was added to the weekly roster.
Since then, we have enjoyed many hours on the water heading out to the Perch and beyond, or round by the Captains as far as the Springers if our allocated time allowed. Going between the islands is an experience with the boat rising and dipping in the rushing water. No wonder the gap is known as the ‘washing machine’. Other highlights for me include: participating in our own regatta with spectators stretched along Red Island for a perfect view of the competing boats; the annual row to and from Loughshinney; a spin to Balbriggan for its regatta; and, best of all, the December RNLI Liffey Row from the East Link up as far the Ha’penny Bridge and back.
Once detached from the shore, it’s amazing what can be seen out there: graceful seals pop their heads out of the water to have a look at us before slipping beneath the surface again; seabirds hover, dive and skim over the waves, going about their business, totally ignoring us. And occasionally, if we’re lucky, we catch sight of porpoises as they arch out of the water and back in again. Yes, it’s a different world out there.
The Rowing Club is a highly visible and active presence on the harbour front, with crews rotating in the boats from early evening until the light begins to fade. During the winter months, the boats are taken out of the water and all maintenance work is done in preparation for the next rowing season. Since its origin, the club has grown its membership and now has many crews in all the age categories training for the various regattas that are held on the East Coast from Balbriggan to Arklow. Crews also participate in long-distance rowing events both at home and abroad. The club now caters for younger age groups too. It is great to see so many out on the water as they represent the future of our sport.
Along with our instantly recognisable HQ beside ‘Storm in a Teacup’, the club now has a ‘fleet’ of six craft – four skiffs and two FISA (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron) rowing boats with sliding seats, a 4-seater plus cox that arrived two years ago and a brand new 2- seater that has just been delivered. Yes, indeed, Skerries Rowing Club has come a long way since the day I first saw the flashing oars of Na Sceirí in the harbour.
In 2021 I joined Skerries Rowing Club as I was looking for something exciting to do for myself and to meet new people.
I loved being part of a crew , and found the other SRC members to be very helpful in offering advice and support in managing the boats and encouraging when deciding to take part in Regattas.
I’m into my third season with SRC now and absolutely love it , they have two styles of boats – traditional Skiff and Fisa ,they offer an all year round rowing experience with discounted Erg training in the winter months with dedicated trainers to improve your endurance fitness.
I am happy to share my experience with Skerries Rowing Club. I have been with the club for almost 3 years now and I would say to come down and give it a try. It is a sport for all ages and levels with no previous experience required. I’ve enjoyed rowing competitively at the various regattas along the east coast as well as taking on some of the longer rows during the year.I personally find being involved with rowing hugely beneficial for my physical and mental health.
After getting out for a row and having some banter with your crew you can’t help but feel better.The club is very community focused which is important for me and whether you want to race or just join a social crew what’s important is getting people out on the water. It’s a great club with great people and I would recommend getting involved.
I only joined Skerries Rowing Club in 2023. As someone who has never done any water sport before, the experience has far exceeded any expectations I had! I feel safe, comfortable, and welcomed by the community from day one! Members from the club were incredibly patient and understanding, guiding me through the fundamentals of rowing and helping me develop my skills every step of the way. Beyond the physical benefit, one of the best part of rowing is the connection with nature. Gliding along the water in the early morning or witnessing a breathtaking sunset in Skerries during an evening row is truly magical.
Best decision of the year!