Crowley to build on London success
LUCAN rower, Denis Crowley will be hoping the success he and his team mates recently enjoyed at the 2022 Masters London Head of the River Time Trial will signal the start of a great year of competition.
Commercials clubmen, Crowley, Brendan Smyth, Albert Maher and Pat Fowler accounted for half of the squad that emerged top from a field of some 200 ‘Eights’ crews in last month’s major handicap event.
Gerry Murphy and Gary O’Neill from Chapelizod, along with Cork’s Brian Crean and Malachy McGlynn (Cox) and Adrian McCallion from Galway made up the rest of the squad which, not only topped their own average 55-years age division, but emerged the overall fastest crew on the handicap system.
Staged on the Oxford/Cambridge boat race course, this year’s event marked the first time an Irish crew had taken the overall title, surmounting the challenge of top masters teams from around Great Britain and Europe.
“We were the outright fastest on the handicap system and that was a very significant achievement for us” Crowley told the Echo.
“Outside the handicap system, on sheer time irrespective of age, we came seventh overall, so there were a lot of crews who were much younger than us who finished behind us. We were also the fastest overseas crew.
“We’ve gone to this competition about six times and we would have been there or thereabouts, but this is the best we’ve ever done. It’s always a very difficult one to win.
“That was our first major competition of the year. We’ve had a few small ones around the country, but we were really aiming for this.
“We would have done a lot of indoor training and, every week, we would have trained together as a crew for the last few months” he said.
For Crowley and other members of this Irish crew, their success last month leaves them on a sound footing ahead of other major internationals taking place later this year.
Crowley, himself will line out in the British Masters in June hoping to defend the Single Sculls title he won last year while also possibly having another crack at the Eights.
Following that, he will turn his attention to the Henley Masters Regatta in which he also topped the podium in 2021.
And capping off a year of big international competition will be the World Masters Rowing Championships, taking place in France in September.
The last time the World Championships were staged in 2019 in Lake Velence outside Budapest, Crowley emerged the indisputable star for Ireland.
The Dubliner returned home with a haul of eight gold medals from the event, having won out in various age groups in the Single Sculls, Men`s Eights and Men`s Coxless Fours.